Saint Paul Downtown Alliance announces plan to welcome workers, visitors back downtown
The organization will execute an enhanced clean and safe program, along with activations and events thanks to more than $1.5 million from downtown stakeholders

The Saint Paul Downtown Alliance today announced a comprehensive plan to welcome workers and visitors back downtown, as COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and employers and businesses return to their offices. The plan includes an enhanced clean and safe program, as well as a comprehensive series of events and activations throughout the downtown area, starting in May and occurring through the fall. The efforts are being funded by more than $1.5 million in committed donations from downtown businesses, organizations and the City of Saint Paul.

“As workers and visitors return to our downtown community, we want to ensure that everyone has a positive, safe experience,” said Joe Spencer, president of the Downtown Alliance. “We are excited to remind people of the incredible, unique atmosphere and culture of our city, and we are grateful to our downtown leaders for making this months-long, welcome-back celebration possible.”

Events and activations
In partnership with downtown institutions, artists and musicians, the Downtown Alliance will be hosting a calendar of events and activations to safely welcome people back downtown, from outdoor trivia events to artist installations to music at the Farmer’s Market, and more. Events will begin in May and run through the fall, and they will require attendees to follow Minnesota Department of Health social distancing and public health guidelines. More information on events will be released at a later date. Those interested can follow the Downtown Alliance on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

“The broad support and investment in this recovery plan by businesses, city officials and the community demonstrate how much we all believe in downtown Saint Paul,” said Chris Hilger, chairman, president and CEO of Securian Financial and co-chair of the Downtown Alliance. “This thoughtful work will make positive impacts long after the pandemic, as Saint Paul continues to grow as a destination for employers, residents and visitors alike.”

Clean and safe program
The Saint Paul Downtown Improvement District will be hitting the ground running with its safe and clean program to welcome visitors and employees back downtown, including an increased number of street team ambassadors who will be visible beginning this month, thanks to investments made by the City of Saint Paul. The street team will pick up trash, remove graffiti and help visitors with wayfinding, all while acting as another set of eyes for public safety professionals.

Return to work
The Downtown Alliance has formed a Recovery Committee, which is working with downtown employers and businesses to discuss safe return strategies, share information and coordinate a smart, overall return to downtown.

“The Downtown Alliance has been communicating with and supporting our downtown stakeholders since the pandemic began a year ago, and our committee is building on that work as we specifically focus on information sharing and strategizing as everyone determines the best reopening strategy for their business,” said Jeanne Crain, president and CEO of Bremer Bank. “This work, paired with the activations and programming Joe and his team are planning, will allow downtown Saint Paul to come back better than ever.”

These efforts are being funded by several downtown stakeholders, including Bremer Bank, the City of Saint Paul, Ecolab, Health Partners, John and Ruth Huss Foundation, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, Securian Financial, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, and Travelers.

“As all of us look forward to emerging from this pandemic, we have work to do to rebuild our local economy,” said Saint Paul Mayor and Downtown Alliance Co-Chair Melvin Carter. “In collaboration with our local business leaders, the Alliance’s efforts will help drive vibrancy downtown to the benefit of our entire city.”