Parklet and Sidewalk Cafe Grant

The Parklet and Sidewalk Café Grant program is aimed at assisting downtown bars, restaurants, or community organizations looking to construct a sidewalk café or parklet structure.

Available grant funds

  • Grant funds may be used to pay for up to 50 percent of the costs associated with design, rendering, construction materials and labor for building a street café or parklet structure.
  • Applicants must also match 100 percent of any funds received from the grant.
  • The maximum amount of grant funding a business or organization may receive is $10,000.
  • If an applicant is approved for funding, approval is given as a “not to exceed” amount. So, if an approved project’s final receipts are less than approved amount, the grant payout will be half of the resulting total.

Administration of grant

  • The grant is administered by the Rochester Downtown Alliance on behalf of the City of Rochester.
  • Funding decisions may take up to five business days and are based on review by a subcommittee appointed by the City of Rochester.
  • Awards are considered on a “first-come, first serve” basis.
  • Grant funding will be provided as a reimbursement to approved applicants after work is completed.
  • Paid invoices for approved work must be submitted to the RDA 90 days after completion of work.

Use of grant funds

Grant funds may be used towards the following items:

  • Design and rendering services
  • Construction material needed to build the parklet or sidewalk café structure
  • Labor costs to build or installed the parklet or sidewalk café structure

Matching funds may be used towards any of the above items or the following for the parklet space:

  • Horticulture
  • Tables, chairs, and other seating
  • Lighting
  • Artwork or informative displays
  • Other items that will be used in the parklet space, when approved by the sub-committee

Eligibility

  • The applying business must be located within the downtown special service district.
  • Applicants who have been approved or are in review for a Sidewalk Café permit by the City of Rochester may apply. If the sidewalk café is located on private property applicant must obtain and submit written approval from the property owner.
  • Applicant must comply with all municipal and state codes and regulations; permitting must be secured prior to grant fund dispersal.

Application instructions

  • Apply for the grant online by clicking here.
  • With your application, please include:
    • A copy/verification of a Sidewalk Café Permit application from the City Clerk’s office.
    • Estimates for any construction or design work for which you are requesting grant funding.

Questions?

Contact Karli McElroy, RDA director of operations, at 507-216-9883 or kmcelroy@downtownrochestermn.com.