RESILIENT ROCHESTER: A Letter from Lisa Clarke

Our community faces extraordinary challenges as the coronavirus pandemic upends the health and lives of residents, businesses and community. We at Destination Medical Center (DMC) are aware of devastating hardships, especially from our city’s small businesses. However, we have only to look up at the Plummer Building aglow in blue lights at night to be reminded of the message it conveys:  we are in this together.

Having partnered with numerous community organizations over the past several years, we understand the impact that is realized by joining forces. Again we have partnered with the City of Rochester, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Downtown Alliance, and the Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc., in initiatives that will lead to economic stability and, ultimately, to renewed economic prosperity for small, mid-size and large businesses.

I am greatly encouraged by the collaboration of our city, government and organizational leaders as we all come together to protect our community and provide for its recovery. And I am especially in awe of – and deeply grateful for – our community’s essential workers who are putting themselves on the front lines to safeguard our well-being. Their dedicated efforts will contribute greatly to getting us through the current disruption.

The Plummer Building lights up in blue.
Photo Credit: Mayo Clinic Public Affairs

In normal times, the work funded by DMC is focused on building and growing a sustainable economy, attracting new companies to Rochester and creating jobs. In this unusual time, with the support of the DMC Corporation Board’s leadership, our team has evaluated and in some cases redirected efforts in order to capitalize on immediate opportunities while never losing sight of building for our future.

Our next projects – the Heart of the City and Discovery Walk – will sustain and create jobs.  And our work with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Medical Alley Association will create exciting opportunities for local businesses and startups.

Rochester has proven itself to be a resilient city, one first tested after the destruction of the 1883 tornado. From adversity, our pioneering town grew to become a renowned global destination for health care. Yet, we have never before been tested by the unprecedented circumstances we face today. We don’t know what our post-pandemic future holds, but we do know that change is certain and that we must prepare today for tomorrow’s ‘new normal.’

Today while our need for support of one another is great, a growing number of programs and services organized by city and local organizations are helping. Please visit our website to learn about these programs.  And check out Roch Strong, a new web-based app that is helping businesses and nonprofits find available resources.

During this challenging time when pulling together is crucial, you have our commitment: DMC will continue to form partnerships with others and with you to create opportunities that emerge from collaboration and build tomorrow’s strong and resilient community.

Lisa Clarke, Executive Director

DMC Economic Development Agency