A note from the president
Every October Emma and I attend the International Downtown Association's annual conference. It's an event we both look forward to and a time when we get to hear about the challenges and opportunities downtowns across North America (and beyond!) are facing. Since the first year we attended we have been struck by how similar we all are, despite our differences. Many of the challenges and opportunities in downtown Saint Paul are the same in Brooklyn, Boston and Boise.
The conference took place virtually this year and as you can conversations were largely focused on the effect COVID-19 has had on our central business districts and downtowns, and where we go from here. I wish I could tell you that someone out there has the magic answer, but unfortunately we're all still working through this together and sharing our experiences as we go. Downtowns are resilient and have survived challenges in the past and will continue to be the place where people come together to innovate, collaborate and socialize after the health risks of COVID-19 have passed. All of this makes me more confident than ever that the momentum of downtown Saint Paul and the work that all of us who are part of this community have been doing over the last few years has put us in a position that will allow us to come back stronger than ever. Over the coming weeks and months we will continue to share more about what that may look like and ideas we've gotten from this year's conference.
This week I was also fortunate to be able to participate in the annual Inter-City Leadership Visit co-sponsored by the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and Minneapolis Regional Chamber. Although we couldn't travel to Raleigh as we'd hoped, the coordinators were able to pivot and turn it into an opportunity to look in our own backyard at the ways Saint Paul and Minneapolis can work together to advance economic prosperity and inclusion across our region. Thank you to the staff, panelists and everyone who was involved in making such a great event possible.
Mask up and take care,
Saint Paul Downtown Alliance