Downtown Rochester Task Force to help local businesses

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(ABC 6 News) – In just the last week, nearly half a dozen businesses have announced closures in Rochester.

More than half of the businesses blamed the long-term effects of the pandemic for their closings.

That’s something the city of Rochester is working to address.

The city is putting together a downtown Rochester task force to find out what needs to be done to bring downtown Rochester back to where it was pre-pandemic.

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton said businesses will be at the forefront of discussions.

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“Spend time with the businesses themselves and hear from them what’s working what’s not working what would they like to see,” Norton said.

The task force will be made up of members from local organizations like D.M.C., the Chamber of Commerce, and the Diversity Council.

They plan to hold a series of work sessions as they hear from businesses and develop an action plan.

They recognize the challenge of having fewer Mayo Clinic employees working downtown but said the pandemic has presented a lot of challenges that we’ve been able to overcome.

Executive Director of D.M.C. Patrick Seeb said, “It was a very tough time, certain businesses were able to innovate and be creative and then businesses that are now seeing new opportunity are popping up again.”

Both community members and businesses are encouraged to attend.

The goal is to have an action plan in place by this May to guide the task force moving forward.