Our Payne Area ReBOOT initiative is aimed at transformative changes that play to our strengths and experiences as local business owners, non-profit leaders, art venue operators, and community developers. To be successful, we need to focus first and foremost on what we can shape and influence as a volunteer association of businesses (PABA) and as community-centered development company (ESNDC). We can seek to attract and nurture new businesses, to revitalize the portfolio of bsuinesses and better align it with local needs and bigger market trends. In partnership with established business development and entrepreneur support agencies, as well as various educational institutions, we can promote and foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem that enables new entrepreneurs getting off the ground with confidence and essential resources, and helps more experienced business owners navigate the never-ending challenges of running a small, independent enterprise. We can form alliances between businesses, artists and various community organizations to turn the Payne Area district into an attractive and exciting place that people want to spend time at, and return to over and over. And we can nurture and promote a rapidly growing community of artists and art-based enterprises that will further add to the vibrancy of the district – and turn it into a destination of choice for local residences, as well as visitors from other parts of the Twin Cities.
Surely, our district and neighborhood faces challenges that go well beyond what an initiative like ours can address. However, a sharpened focus and concrete contributions to business vitality, job growth, entrepreneurial support and arts vibrancy of the sort we are targeting will go a long ways to catalyze the attention, support and investment from many other government agencies, community development funding sources, and private businesses.