The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors at its May 28, 2020 meeting approved $250,000 in financial resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support businesses reopening and recovery and new innovations that will enhance and grow Rochester’s economy and help small businesses. DMC will prioritize immediate investments that could be in support of long-term public infrastructure in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) district.
The Business Pivot, a blog series from Destination Medical Center (DMC), features local small businesses that are pivoting not just to survive, but to thrive in the current economic environment. These businesses are helping Southeast Minnesota continue to access products and services while also making a difference in the community.
Destination Medical Center (DMC) and the City of Rochester announced the distribution of $100,000 in funding to 55 Rochester businesses through the Keep It Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant Program. The grant program assists small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are working with other small business to respond to those challenges.
Destination Medical Center hosted six webinars focused on the road to recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. National, regional and local leaders from a variety of industries shared examples and ideas of how key sectors of our economy can begin to reopen safely and effectively.
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.
Chris Blade has been with the Post Bulletin for 20 years. She served as General Manager for 7 ½ years before being named publisher in June of 2019 when Forum Communications purchased the newspaper. The Post Bulletin is working to become a “next-generation” multimedia company developing and delivering content, technology and business services to the communities it serves. With over 500,000 visitors to postbulletin.com each month, the publication is also focusing on bringing content and advertising online. It’s also adding a meteorology team, and a weather app due to launch this spring.
Destination Medical Center (DMC) is proving to be a magnet for private investment from across the country. In the case of seven DMC-supported projects, capital has come from Minnesota, California, Utah, Nebraska, Illinois, Florida and Massachusetts.
“One of our jobs is to drive investment and talent to Rochester and the state of Minnesota,” said Lisa Clarke, DMC Economic Development Agency executive director. “This shows that it is actually happening. We want people to invest here and stay here in Minnesota.”
At the close of 2018, Rochester, Minnesota was awarded the state’s first LEED Gold City designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in recognition of the City’s effort to achieve significant municipal sustainability and resiliency goals. Kevin Bright, energy and sustainability director for the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) and City of Rochester is excited for the next chapter, which includes a new voluntary energy benchmarking program for Rochester businesses.
The Rochester Energy Benchmarking Program provides a platform for Rochester business and building owners to track their energy use and identify ways to save money on utility bills.
“The creation of the benchmarking program is an important first step to help businesses identify ways to reduce their operating costs by saving energy,” says Bright.
On April 24, 2019, the Benchmarking program will host a training session for interested organizations at Rochester City Hall in Room 104 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This session will help organizations create and efficiently complete a benchmarking profile which is the core of participation in the program.
Another educational resource for Rochester businesses and the public is the DMC EDA’s monthly sustainability series, now in its second year. The series, in partnership with the USGBC, is held the second Wednesday of each month at the Rochester Public Library from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. and is free to attend.
Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) has been awarded the “Marketing Partner of the Year,” presented by Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion agency at its annual conference in Saint Paul on February 5. DMC EDA was nominated by Experience Rochester.
The “Marketing Partner of the Year” award recognizes outstanding marketing or special projects executed by an individual business which enhances the overall visibility of a community and directly impacts visitor travel to the area.
In its nomination of DMC EDA, Experience Rochester noted:
The staff members of the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) work tirelessly to make Rochester, MN an exceptional place to work, live, and visit. Experience Rochester MN is nominating DMC EDA because of their dedication to always including Rochester’s 3.3 million annual visitors — many of whom are visiting Mayo Clinic — in their mission and vision for a vibrant, innovative community. A recognition of the importance of travel & tourism is integrated into everything the DMC EDA pursues.
The award judges felt this partnership is like no other; it’s an example of economic development at its finest. An innovative concept in an innovative destination.
“It’s a wonderful honor to receive this award,” said Lisa Clarke, DMC EDA executive director. “DMC is unwavering in its commitment to providing an exceptional experience for Rochester residents and visitors. We are proud to be a collaborator with Experience Rochester and many other organizations in promotion of this great destination.”
Experience Rochester also received some hardware at the conference, winning the “Special Projects” award for its website,minnesotasrochester.com.
“We’re honored to be recognized by our peers in the state tourism industry,” said Mary Gastner, Experience Rochester interim executive director. “Our website is the number one resource for visitors. Our partnership, with Simpleview, allowed us to focus on creating a data-driven and personalized website. The new site allows guests to easily find what they are searching for and inspires exploration of our locally-owned businesses and Only-in-Rochester experiences.”