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Downtown Community Partnership Fights for Small Business Success in Downtown Fargo

When Fargo’s cherished St. Patrick’s Parade had an uncertain future last year, the Mayor called the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP). He knew the DCP had the event expertise, the business partnerships, and the direct line to City resources to be able to fill downtown Fargo with revelers of all ages to ring in the new spring. Large scale downtown events are something the DCP does quite well. What we’ve lost this year to the pandemic will most certainly be built again and brought back better than ever.

But it’s the daily work of the DCP team, in between parades and street fairs, is what keeps the downtown business community on the track of positive economic growth.

The DCP pulls together the voices and needs of the small business owners and advocates for them at the city and state levels of government. Through the last months of pandemic, it has become very clear the vital role the DCP plays in connecting our neighbors struggling to keep their business doors open with the resources available to help them do just that. Small business is down, but it’s not out. They, and the DCP, need your support now more than ever.

The DCP is also serving Fargo’s leaders of large business and industry by creating a downtown that is not only a desired destination for visitors, but a critical recruitment tool that can be the lynchpin in someone’s decision to move to Fargo to pursue a career opportunity.

A strong downtown is good for a city’s business community because it makes your city a place people want to live. It provides culture and lifestyle choices that retain people by providing diversity in choices in where and how to live with urban, suburban and core neighborhoods. A strong downtown is your city’s gathering place and where we go to support each other, and it is a reflection of the health of our city.

The DCP is navigating the departments, task forces, and committees of the City of Fargo to ensure the best possible outcomes for the downtown business community. The DCP influences everything from the gargantuan task of downtown snow removal, to the twinkle of holiday lights, to the bursting baskets of flowers lining the sidewalks. The DCP keeps downtown ready for business.

Members of the DCP team take advantage of the picnic area located at Broadway and 3rd Ave. N.

This summer, as the pandemic has continued to reduce the patronage of downtown restaurants, the DCP team persisted through right of way ordinances and the momentum of “we’re not sure how that will work” to create al fresco islands; picnic tables placed in parking spaces around downtown surrounded by traffic barricades, providing outdoor seating for all restaurants. The al fresco islands are a way the DCP provides direct support to small business to improve their bottom line.

The DCP administers the Business Improvement District (BID), which is a team of four Ambassadors charged with keeping downtown clean, safe, friendly, maintained, and promoted. On any visit to downtown Fargo, you are sure to see the team in blue, ready to welcome you, share recommendations and directions, weed the planter beds, and sweep the sidewalks. The DCP and BID also work closely with critical partners, like the Gladys Ray Shelter, Harm Reduction Services, and the Downtown Resource Officers, providing a social safety net for anyone in our community who needs it.

For more than 50 years, the Downtown Community Partnership has been dedicated to bringing together and supporting the businesses, promoters, advocates, and visionaries of historic downtown Fargo and its future. After two decades of the hard work of revitalization, Downtown Fargo and the DCP are, again, at a critical point in their evolutions. The DCP will rise to the challenge in the coming year with a new strategic plan and focused priorities designed to lift downtown into its next phase of growth.

The Board of Directors of the DCP invites you to join us in our work to support downtown Fargo’s small businesses, for without them, downtown would be a much different place. Visit downtownFargo.com or find us on Facebook to explore becoming a member or investor in the DCP, purchase a Downtown Fargo gift card, or simply learn more about the work of the Downtown Community Partnership.

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