ROCHESTER, Minnesota – The pandemic continues to have a major impact on many businesses in the region. But in Rochester, there is an encouraging trend. Several new businesses are opening.
Nineteen businesses opened in 2021 and 12 more are opening this year. One of these businesses is a return business.
Primp is a women’s clothing store on 1st Ave SW that closed in the summer of 2020 but reopened last spring.
City leaders believe downtown remains an attractive location for business due to its growing population. A recent research project shows that the number of downtown housing units has doubled over the past decade. and many of the people who live there are young professionals and empty nesters who appreciate the walking distance to local shops and restaurants.
A big push continues to help downtown businesses succeed.
“This is great and we should look at everything with cautious optimism and need to know that we need to support these businesses as they open. There are currently a number of different grant programs, such as the Main Streets Deed grant through Destination Medical Center that can really help businesses with the interior and exterior of their stores,” says Holly Masek, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance. “And another thing that I see happening in a very organic way is that companies that have been here a while and operators that are very familiar with the environment tend to advise and help each other, which is great.”
Masek hopes to see a cell phone repair shop, shoe repair shop and dry cleaners open downtown in the future.
New businesses coming to Rochester include The Well, a new restaurant that will open in the former location of Dooley’s, and Opa, a Greek restaurant franchise that will open in Peace Plaza.