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Downtown Council Disbanded

New Downtown Alliance Advisory Board Formed by St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

With new businesses opening, several large properties changing ownership, current challenges and opportunities, the Downtown Council, currently an all-volunteer organization made up of nine downtown business owners, determined the current organization’s structure lacked long-term support and could no longer secure strategic goals for downtown’s growth.

“We’re very, very excited about the new doors this opens for us downtown. It’s an important consideration from not only the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce but also from the city and city staff, who have been great partners in the events and efforts we’ve been making in the past year as we come out of the pandemic. There are so many amazing things happening downtown – we’re excited to be able to make even greater strides much faster with this change.” – Michelle Henderson, former Downtown Council board.

The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce will provide much-needed administrative support, political advocacy, and a sustained structure that will help downtown attract private investment and development funding.

“Downtown Council was once a much larger organization with administrative staff. Ongoing community support and volunteers downtown have helped tremendously, and we are grateful. We made this change to honor their hard work over the years.” -Michelle Henderson.

Downtown Council initiated conversations with the City of St. Cloud and the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce to explore a long-term strategic partnership. With a long history of downtown involvement and support, Julie Lunning, the new President of the chamber, helped to develop a plan that works within the Chamber of Commerce.

“It just made sense,” Julie says. “The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer and member-led organization with the goal of supporting St. Cloud area businesses. Downtown is integral to our long-term success as a community and as a chamber.” -Julie Lunning.

“I’m excited about this change. It supports the city’s long-term strategic plan for downtown while still being driven by the business owners and leaders who have invested in downtown. I look forward to playing an ongoing role on the advisory board. -Dave Kleis, Mayor of St. Cloud

For those downtown businesses interested in hearing more or volunteering in this exciting new initiative, an informational session will be held on Tuesday, September 20th, at 4 pm at the Paramount Theater. For questions or to RSVP for the informative session, email the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce at: jlunning@stcloudareachamber.com.

For more information, please contact:

  • Julie Lunning, President, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, jlunning@stcloudareachamber.com, 320-249-2765
  • Michelle Henderson, Owner of BadCat Digital – downtown St. Cloud, Former Downtown Council board member, michelle@badcatdigital.com, 320-217-8883
  • Dave Kleis, Mayor, City of St. Cloud, dave.kleis@ci.stcloud.mn.us, 320-255-7201