The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Minneapolis 2013,

West Broadway Business and Area Coalition

The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition’s (WBC) mission is to create an inviting, distinctive, and vital West Broadway Corridor that will transform North Minneapolis into a thriving economic community. To create this livable community for all, we build capacity of Northside residents, entrepreneurs, and businesses while implementing a campaign to positively emphasize the Northside’s cultural assets, entrepreneurs, and distinctive amenities.

The primary goals of the WBC include:

• Strengthening and building the capacity of local businesses and entrepreneurs.

• Increasing safety, livability, vitality, vibrancy, and functionality of the corridor.

• Increasing social capital, community awareness, ownership, and voice on relevant economic and community development issues.

• Working to eliminate or change unreasonable regional and local policies and regulations that decrease opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

• Cultivating and highlighting community cultural assets.

The WBC has several key programs and initiatives intended to address Coalition goals. These include:

• Greater North Minneapolis marketing campaign: campaign will grow the local economy in North Minneapolis by strengthening connections in the following areas: B2B - Business to Business (including non-profits and institutions), Local & Metro-wide Exposure for Micro-Entrepreneurs, Reach Average Customers (within and outside the neighborhood)

• Façade Improvement Program: The WBC Façade Improvement Program provides matching grants to area businesses and/or property owners in order to improve the appearance of the neighborhood and bring art to the corridor.

• FLOW Northside Arts Crawl: FLOW is an annual art crawl on West Broadway Avenue. FLOW is self-guided art crawl is to shine a light on the Northside Community through the arts. The event is programmed annually with over 100 visual and performing artists to highlight the great creativity of Northsiders for residents and visitors alike.

• West Broadway Farmers Market: Started in 2011, the West Broadway Farmers Market is a weekly market that serves North Minneapolis. The market is programmed with a variety of food and art vendors, community organizations, and entertainment (art/cultural activities, music, cooking demonstrations, etc).

• Web and Social Media Promotion Program: Provides an opportunity for Northside Businesses to have a webpage. WBC also provides one to one training for business owners to learn how to use social media sites.

• Retail Recruitment: WBC works with a group of partners to fill vacant storefronts by recruiting new businesses to the corridor.

• Business Networking Events: The WBC holds business networking events featuring topics of interest to businesses.

• Safety and Security: The WBC uses a comprehensive approach to safety to eliminate real and perceived neighborhood safety concerns and issues.

• Business Assistance: WBC offers Northside businesses assistance in locating business development tools and resources, assistance with zoning, licensing and regulatory issues.

• Beautification Activities: Graffiti Removal and Clean-up Events

• BID Research: WBC is part of the Great Cities Collaborative. A partnership between Lake Street Council, Northeast CDC, SPARC, and University United to create a model for Business Improvement Districts in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

• Tornado Recovery Assistance: WBC has been instrumental in helping businesses find resources to reopen after the tornado.

What new functionality we are looking for

The WBC would like to create a new, mobile-compatible website that serves as a visitor and resident’s guide to North Minneapolis.

The North Minneapolis website will:

• Increase navigability and project the image of a unified, connected North Minneapolis

• combine a business directory, neighborhood resources and institutions, public art, events, area guide, area map, community calendar, local employment opportunities, etc.

• allow for user-generated content, perhaps through a blog monitored by the WBC; for example, a resident could enter a historic photo, a new art installation, or review a restaurant.

• use Google maps to direct users to a specific destination chosen by topic

• be an exciting tool to help people participate in the FLOW Northside Arts Crawl and other community events.



The WBC is currently working on a Greater North Minneapolis marketing campaign with the following goals:

-Increase local & metro-wide exposure for micro-entrepreneurs

-Increase business visibility to customers within neighborhood, residents and employees

-Increase business visibility to customers outside neighborhood

-Attract new businesses to locate on West Broadway and in North Minneapolis

-Unify the North Minneapolis business community



The website would be a key part of the campaign, as the campaign always loops back to a comprehensive website that celebrates the Northside's businesses and presents the area as an inviting destination rich in history, art and amenities.



Though the website will be managed by the WBC, it will not be branded as an organizational website and the focus will be North Minneapolis as a whole.

How the new functionality will help

The WBC’s core mission is to transform North Minneapolis into a thriving economic community. A website made at the high professional caliber of Nerdery staff will help us:

1. inform the public about the cultural, commercial and leisure offerings of the North Minneapolis community

2. help visitors and community members better navigate North Minneapolis, therefore facilitating healthy commerce, development and community building

3. Increase navigability and project the image of a unified, connected North Minneapolis

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

38 Messages from Supporters

2013-02-04 18:21:40 UTC
Anonymous

I would love to see North Minneapolis become more connected to the rest of the city! There is a wealth of talent and resources in this community that are currently being wasted! WBC has been working hard to improve the business environment and the quality of life on the Northside. Please choose them and help move this community forward!

2013-02-04 18:48:41 UTC
D. Signorelli

The West Broadway Business Coalition is a wonderful organization with great people who care about North Minneapolis, the businesses and the local residents in the area. As an organization they are working VERY hard to create a vibrant and livable community. By working closely with and in conjunction with Northside residents, entrepreneurs, and businesses WBC is implementing a campaign to positively emphasize the Northside’s cultural assets, entrepreneurs, and distinctive amenities.

It makes sense that by strengthening and building the capacity of local businesses and entrepreneurs a stronger more vital and livable community can be created thereby increasing social capital, community awareness, ownership, and voice on relevant economic and community development issues.

I say, let's help West Broadway Business Coalition with their short term and long term goals of helping the Northside community by helping them create a strong and vibrant new website!

D. Signorelli

2013-02-04 20:03:26 UTC
Anonymous

The work of the WBC is evident to anyone who has a long history with the neighborhood. It is cleaner, storefronts more attraactive, and has a safer feel than it did even a few years ago. I would love to see West Brodway return to the lovely little shopping and eating area it was when I moved to the neighborhood 40 years ago. It is moving in the right directioon with the help of WBC.

2013-02-04 23:08:51 UTC
Rebecca Parrell

A new website will launch WBC's Greater North Minneapolis Marketing Campaign to the next level- bringing exposure to everything positive that North Minneapolis has to offer. The economic revitalization of North Minneapolis is unlikely to happen without more residents, shoppers, customers, employees, clients, and visitors venturing out to northside businesses, generating economic activity. Yet first people need to know what's here to attract them to come. A state-of-the-art, interactive website can be a part of that enticement package.

2013-02-04 23:34:00 UTC
DeAnna Cummings

The West Broadway Business & Area Coalition are the producers of FLOW a Northside Arts Crawl, a summer art festival that attracts 1,000s of locals and visitors and has become a hallmark for North Minneapolis that many folks look forward to all year long. WBC also provides financial support for West Broadway businesses to improve their buildings with art facades and other kinds of public art. Juxtaposition Arts has rec'd numerous grants from WBC to improve our properties. Our corner of West Broadway & Emerson Avenue has been transformed from vacant, blighted buildings into expressions of exuberant youthful creativity. WBC would greatly benefit form a website that more fully reflects all they have to offer the businesses & residents along our neighborhoods commercial corridor. Go WBC!

2013-02-05 02:39:37 UTC
Betsy Mowry

North Minneapolis has many exciting and meaningful resources, programs and activities, and The West Broadway Coalition is a wonderful leader and facilitator. An improved website could really help bring to light the many positive things happening in our community - including the many arts and cultural organizations that reside here!

We have so many local businesses and services that do not have the resources to create and manage their own website, and the WBC is key in serving as a resource to these folks. Also, a key element of the proposal is that the emphasis of the website will be on North Minneapolis as a whole. It will be a huge benefit to a large number of individuals, businesses, organizations and resources.

2013-02-05 03:02:02 UTC
AGAPE 24-HOUR CHILD DEVELOPMENT/OASIS OF LOVE CRISIS CENTERS

UNIQUE TO W BROADWAY IS AGAPE 24-HR CHLD DEVELOPMT CENTER WITH ITS INTEGRATED FAMILY SERVICES--OASIS OF LOVE. WE'RE PROUD TO BE ONE OF ITS KIND IN THE STATE. WE ARE AREA EMPLOYERS AS WELL AS PROVIDERS OF QUALITY CHILD CARE AND FAMILY SERVICES. FAMILIES WORKING OR ATTENDING SCHOOL BEYOND 1ST SHIFT FIND AGAPE/OASIS ON W BROADWAY MEETS THEIR CHILD CARE NEEDS IN ADDITION TO FAMILY SERVICES RESOURCES, WHICH ARE OFTEN UNAVAILABLE ON WEEKENDS. AGAPE PARENTS AND CHILDREN PARTICIPATED IN THE W BROADWAY FARMERS MARKET SELLING PRODUCE FROM THE GARDEN THEY PLANTED LAST SPRING. THEY WERE SO PROUD TO WALK FROM THEIR NEARBY HOMES TO TEND THE GARDEN AND BRING THEIR HARVEST TO A NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET. COMMUNITY ELDERS, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND COLLEGE STUDENTS HELPED OUR PRE-K TO 6TH GRADE STUDENTS HOST A SUCCESSFUL URBAN FARM PROJECT. THIS YEAR, WE EXPECT TO INCREASE THE PARTICIPATION AND SIZE OF OUR PROJECT. AGAPE/OASIS YOUTH VIOLENCE PROGRAM DISPLAYED THEIR ARTWORK AND PARTICIPATED IN STAGE PERFORMANCES IN THE ANNUAL FLOW ACTIVITIES. THE VERILEA HOWARD MEMORIAL CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL IS JOINTLY SPONSORED BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. THIS EVENT BRINGS AWARENESS TO VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ANS IS HELD IN THE PARKING LOT OF CUB FOODS. THIS RECOGNITION AND AWARENESS IN INVALUABLE AND MUST BE "MAPPED" TO HELP VISITORS & COMMUNITY NAVIGATE NORTH MPLS. KNOWING THEIR EXPECTATIONS OF GREATNESS WILL BE MET.

2013-02-05 03:16:30 UTC
Ariah Fine

Living less then two blocks off of Broadway, I've been able to see first hand the great work that WBC is doing in my community. I'm grateful for their efforts and have always enjoyed the amazing community event that FLOW is. I'm looking forward to the continued work of WBC and would love to see them getting a boost with a great new website.

2013-02-05 16:38:13 UTC
David Kang

The WBC is an important stakeholder and resources for businesses in the North MPLS community. They help businesses and the community become successful through their funding assistance, networking abilities, and other programs such as the FLOW art crawl which brings visibility to area businesses. Simply, they rock!

2013-02-05 17:20:20 UTC
Stephanie Harr

As a relative newcomer to the Northside business community, I have been very impressed by the West Broadway Coalition. They are not only very welcoming, but I have found them to offer a wealth of help and support to the business community and the community as a whole. The work they have done to build partnerships and create a network of engaged citizens in this area is laudable. In particular, one of the programs I want to commend them on is the West Broadway Farmers Market. As an amenity and community resource that brings people together around fresh and healthy food, economic development opportunities and healthy lifestyles, it has been a great way for our clinic to get involved in the community. I could not be more impressed with the creativity, flexibility, inclusiveness and commitment demonstrated by the West Broadway Coalition staff and members in their work to support the West Broadway community. They have done a lot of great work and are perfectly positioned to leverage this work to reap tremendous benefit on behalf of the community with a new web site.

2013-02-05 17:30:52 UTC
Paula Pentel

The WBC is becoming and will continue to become a great resource for North Minneapolis. As a Board member I know how we have struggled to be technologically up to date -- I know that our effectiveness will rise with an improved web presence - choose WBC!

2013-02-05 21:00:42 UTC
Susan Friedman

This is the first time I knew that there was a WBAC. They have done so much for me. Facade improvements, Shaina is going to help me with my Facebook page, Alicia and the Farmers Market, Erin and getting the list serve together. Just a great bunch of great young ladies! They help me with my BTS shoe giveaway.

2013-02-06 02:47:25 UTC
Michelle Horovitz

WBC and the Northside community are in great need of a website like what WBC is proposing and they would be the right people to maintain it. Between FLOW, the Farmer's Market and all that WBC does for the community, they definitely deserve this assistance. The community as well would prosper so much from a website that has all of the elements proposed. We need this!

2013-02-06 05:34:34 UTC
Andrea

I've just started working with the WBC and they are amazing! They strive to build a true community bond with local businesses and residents all for the same common goal. They are making the neighborhood a safer and more successful place. Everyone would benefit if they received a website through the Nerdery!

2013-02-06 22:29:49 UTC
Kaonou from Asian Media Access

Asian Media Access, a non-profit organization that strives to "connect the disconnected", works with many wonderful organizations and businesses along West Broadway. A website that will create more exposure to this neighborhood is great news and an opportunity that can not be missed! Pick WBC!

2013-02-06 22:42:33 UTC
Lydia

The West Broadway Coalition is an exceptional organization because it does such a fine job of executing a portfolio of projects that will truly revitalize North Minneapolis. The Northside is probably the area of Minneapolis that has suffered the most disinvestment during the past 40 years, yet it is a community rich in creativity, history, unique entrepreneurs, and people that care deeply about their neighbors. This is why a website for WBC is imperative -- a new website to promote North Minneapolis would 1) help tell the story of the Northside and 2) make us better connected to the rest of the region, and 3) it would also help us to connect with each other. The WBC has proven that they are the right group to manage this project. I value that the WBC is always there to connect me to business and community resources, from the City to the U of M. The staff and board really know the Northside, and when they don't know or want to know more, they are good at getting community feedback. I don't doubt they would make the most of a new website for North!

2013-02-06 23:03:17 UTC
Market Vendor

The WBC has been a great pillar in the North Minneapolis community. The farmers market they run has been a great place for people to have access to fresh food, community resources and more!

2013-02-06 23:38:21 UTC
Beth Grosen

WBC is a great organization doing marvelous work in North Minneapolis. They work directly with businesses and are also working to fill up vacant storefronts, improve communication and the reputation of safety in the area. Their improved website would be such a great help!

2013-02-06 23:42:53 UTC
Dr. Tara Watson

The WBC has been a staple in my growth and development since I moved to the West Broadway corridor. The resources, financial support, business enhancement programs are key elements in supporting and helping business develop, grow and expand. A New website will allow the WBC and the community to feature this hidden gem otherwise known as North Minneapolis.

2013-02-07 19:24:59 UTC
Mary Blitzer

The WBC is doing great work on the Northside. I have gotten to experience their farmer' market and see that it is working to bring people together and improve community and personal health. Promoting the great work of WBC through an enhanced website will help the Northside and the entire city of Minneapolis.

2013-02-07 20:34:37 UTC
JIm Wentzell

The West Broadway Coalation is doing so many great things to make the neighborhood as vital as it was in the 1940's when I first move there. You can see that in all the beautiful refurbished facades on the avenue. I trust them completely to make the mostof this free webste.

2013-02-07 21:27:58 UTC
Peace Garden @ 12th & Morgan

Broadway Farmers Market was a plus in summer of 2013. The children were grateful for the opportunity, The support and the friendliness of the adults that interacted with them. There were interesting things to see clinics, bicycles being repaired and the opportunity to entertain. That was new for them. It brought out the best in them. The opportunity to sell their produce and keep their money. It was a new opportunity and I thought they handled it very well and did a very good job. Being professional and responsible. This validates the point I'm always trying to make, our children need the stage to preform at another level. Some support to perform and the place to challenge their own abilities. Last day they were there at the market, they picked, packaged and sold the vegetables with very little help from adults. That was a plus because they met the challenge and build their self esteem. Some are looking forward to next year, some have moved on and some are being sought after by other gardens. Most of all they all left with something a new experience. Coo doos to West Broadway Coalition. And thank you, healthy food healthy community. Working together for change.

2013-02-07 21:54:57 UTC
Angela Davis

there is a lot of good things going on on the Northside and I have taken part in many from FLOW to the West Broadway Farmers Market and more. It would be beautiful to have one central website where community members and others can go and find out all the information and resources they need. Everyday we hear about the negative things going on on the Northside, now it is time to shine a light on the positive.

2013-02-08 04:58:28 UTC
Dudley Voigt

As the founder and Artistic Director of FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, we publish a map and guidebook for our annual event that highlights businesses and organizations in North Minneapolis. This piece of paper, while chock full of information on sites, artists, restaurants and public art, is a static and fixed piece for one day out of the year. Imagine what a fluid, comprehensive, interactive website and mobile app could do! Filter for murals. Filter for food. Filter for events. Filter for FLOW Garbage cans, filter for art year round, filter for businesses and specials, filter for youth services, food, hair & nails, etc.

There are many layers to North Minneapolis: cultural, architectural, commercial, historical, radical. What kind of impact would me made if we were to aggregate them all in one dynamic place? A transformational. one.

2013-02-08 15:24:46 UTC
Michelle Vigen

WBC is working at the heart of North Minneapolis -- working with local business and community members to reveal its vibrant culture and opportunity to the rest of the Minneapolis community. Through the farmers market, arts crawl, bike share, and local businesses, this IS the new up-and-comer. / WBC is a major hub of opportunity in this part of the city that has had its share of challenges. And SO MUCH work is being done to make this the transformative opportunity that it is.
/ WBC DESERVES AN AMAZING WEBSITE that reflects the pride and character of its work and its community. WBC's website is likely to be the FIRST GLIMPSE others have into this wonderful part of Minneapolis -- so it should SHINE and illustrate the energy and hard work happening through WBC! = Give WBC and its community a website to showcase the amazing power of community and change-it's good for them, good for Minneapolis, good for everyone!

2013-02-08 15:25:22 UTC
Velma

I absolutely love the Farmer's Market on West Broadway. In addition to working there 1 Friday a month doing healthy food demos through UMN Extension Svcs Simply Good Eating Program, I am also a northsider. In a few words, I bought the best okra every!!! It was absolutely wonderful. It was fresh, crisp and flavorful. I used it in my food demo and it was such a hit. Folks who normally don't like okra or was fearful of trying okra are now okra fans. In addition to the great produces,there are great resources available for what's happening in the community. Also, having a farmer's market right on broadway is convenient and peeks the curiosity of passersby to come check out the market and for some, be introduced to new foods and healthy ways of preparing and eating foods.

2013-02-08 18:16:30 UTC
Joe Voss

I went to FLOW for the first time last year, and was surprised to see all the cool stuff happening in N Mpls. This project could really help let other people know about the area and what it has to offer. Thanks.

2013-02-08 18:31:49 UTC
Diana H

I am proud to be apart of this great organization that has grown to be the talk of the Ave. I am glad to see all the work and support of the business and community working together. Flow was a big highlight last year.

2013-02-08 18:32:03 UTC
Diana H

I am proud to be apart of this great organization that has grown to be the talk of the Ave. I am glad to see all the work and support of the business and community working together. Flow was a big highlight last year.

2013-02-08 18:36:14 UTC
Carl Griffin

The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition has become an important resource for North Minneapolis including helping spread the word about the many positive aspects of our community. We have made a lot of progress in building an awareness of such things as the FLOW Arts Crawl and the Farmers Market. The expansion of the WBC website would strengthen our capacity to reach an even larger audience about a wider array of resources available and activities happening along West Broadway and in North Minneapolis.

2013-02-08 19:16:07 UTC
Louis Dachis

I've been doing business on West Broadway since 1984 and the positive change I have seen on the avenue has been remarkable. The WBC has been the little engine that has been relentlessly pushing to effectuate change on the avenue and the impact has been palpable. As the avenue evolves along with public perceptions, we have seen the demographic in our store change as well. While there is still much work to be done, the WBC is the organization that isn't afraid to raise the tough questions, push a positive agenda even in the face of negativity and pioneers a strong vision to make West Broadway a vibrant commercial corridor.

2013-02-08 23:29:28 UTC
Dean Rose

As a business owner on West Broadway for over 25 years, I have witnessed the struggles our community confronts to overcome and build a vibrant, successful commercial corridor. As a WBC Board member, I have seen up close the impressive, dedicated work of staff and volunteers to build our infrastructure toward positive change that this organization is capable of producing. A North Minneapolis-focused website would allow us to showcase all of the one of a kind businesses, amenities and events that make this underappreciated part of the city so great. It would offer a one-stop shop of information to assist, promote and enhance economic vitality within our community!

2013-02-08 23:58:32 UTC
Kristin Guild

West Broadway is hopping, with the West Broadway Coalition leading the charge at pulling it all together. Artist-designed facades and murals are popping up all over (http://westbroadway.tumblr.com/). Juxtaposition Arts infuses the scene with youth-led arts projects, and they're just getting warmed up. The Capri Theater was named the Twin Cities #1 jazz venue by Minnesota Monthly. Kindred Kitchen provides commercial kitchen space and training to caterers, small batch food producers (think Salsa Lisa just getting started), and food trucks. Dr. Tara Watson just opened a spiffy new Anytime Fitness at Penn, winning a Small Business Success award from the Twin Cities Business Journal. Cookie Cart makes the very best toffee cookies ever.

But did you know any of this? Nope. West Broadway needs energized nerds to design a groovy new website to proclaim the emerging truth about the Northside's main street and drive customers from throughout the metro to these businesses. Plus, you'll LOVE working with Erin and the fine and passionate business owners of West Broadway!

2013-02-09 00:00:13 UTC
Jackie Cherryhomes

I have made my home in North Minneapolis for 30 years. The West Broadway Coalition has been a key part of the revitalization of West Broadway, the Northside's main business corridor, and the impacts of that work are felt throughout the area. A website that celebrates North Minneapolis and centralizes information on all of the outstanding activities, businesses, entrepreneurs, parks, arts and cultural events will greatly enhance the work that the WBC and others are doing to make North Minneapolis a truly great place to live, work, learn and do business.

2013-02-09 02:05:06 UTC
Emma Fiala

I'm a recent transplant to north Minneapolis. I connected with WBC shortly after I moved here and have enjoyed having a relationship since. I sat on a pannel to select which businesses would receive a facade improvement which was so interested to both my husband and I. It was neat to learn more about our local businesses and be a part of improving West Broadway. I love that WBC has brought a farmer's market to the area and hope to stop by more this coming year. I visited FLOW two years ago as a patron and was a part of it in 2012 when I exhibited my photography for the first time. It was a great way to build connections in the neighborhood and I also won the photography contest for the day. I'm very happy that WBC helps give a voice to local businesses by featuring them on their website - us small businesses can always use more of that! WBC is a great asset to the neighborhood and I'm so pleased to see them working in the community to make it better and to improve the buildings on West Broadway in a thoughtful and logical way. I can't wait to see what more WBC do for the area in the future and of course, this opportunity with the Nerdery would only serve to further their good works. :)

2013-02-12 17:31:43 UTC
Justin Baylor

I work on West Broadway, live in the community, and am very supportive of the work of the West Broadway Coalition. The organization has commendable follow-through and is always thinking of combining new and tried and true strategies to meet the neighborhood's challenges and foster a more vibrant business community that supports the community as a whole. This North Minneapolis website is just another example of this. A website for this entire part of the city would show others that we are a cohesive community with a range of businesses, services, schools, parks, neighborhood organizations, activities, cultural events and entertainment opportunities. At the same time, it would support the connectedness of all of those things, since there would be a space for all stakeholders to centralize information. This website is a great idea, and I wholeheartedly support it and the WBC!

2013-02-14 15:18:05 UTC
Mary

Go NoMi! Let's help WBC develop local Northside businesses!

2013-02-17 05:26:14 UTC
Dan Thiede

The West Broadway Coalition is an incredible asset to the community they serve, and I know that they would be excellent stewards of the work of Nerdery's volunteers. A new website will allow WBC's small but talented team to take their efforts to the next level and multiply their already considerable impact!

Our Mission

The WBC leads initiatives to bring businesses, non-profit organizations and neighbors together to create an inviting and vital West Broadway corridor that will transform the Northside into a thriving economic community. The focus of WBC’s work is neighborhood revitalization in North Minneapolis. Stakeholders in our work include neighborhood residents, entrepreneurs, North Minneapolis businesses, property owners, artists, and non-profit organizations. WBC programs primarily focus on North Minneapolis businesses, entrepreneurs, and property owners. We work predominantly with small, minority-owned businesses and minority entrepreneurs. The official service area of the WBC is along West Broadway from the river on the east to the City border on the west and Lowry Avenue to the North and Plymouth Avenue to the South. However, since the tornado our service area has expanded to work with businesses throughout North Minneapolis when appropriate.