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Love Local Initiative

Supporting business districts through COVID-19

Love Local Initiative  

Business districts help create vibrant, livable communities. In response to the challenging economic impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses, Hennepin County is working with 11 cities to roll out the Love Local Initiative, an effort to encourage people to shop at their local business districts while following COVID-19 safety guidelines during this holiday season.

Love local businesses safely this holiday season 

Rising rates of COVID-19 through our state have required dial-back measures to keep our businesses and residents safe. While necessary, these measures create new challenges for businesses in a year full of hardship. We strongly encourage you to shop local this holiday season so we can all get back to business as usual soon.

You can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 while supporting your favorite local businesses by:

  • Shopping online 
  • Ordering takeout  
  • Shopping alone 
  • Wearing a mask properly when visiting in person  
  • Visiting stores briefly and during off-peak hours 
  • Washing your hands frequently 
  • Staying home if you’re feeling sick 

Marketing and promotion support

The Love Local Initiative is supporting 11 business districts with a marketing campaign to encourage communities and local residents to support their local business districts safely through COVID-19, including:  

  • Brooklyn Park – Edinburgh Center Drive North
  • Crystal – Bass Lake Road Strip
  • Golden Valley downtown
  • Maple Grove – Grove Retail Center
  • Minnetonka – Glen Lake
  • St. Louis Park – Walker-Lake
  • Edina – 50th and France
  • Excelsior downtown
  • Mainstreet Hopkins
  • Robbinsdale downtown
  • Wayzata downtown

In addition to marketing support, the Love Local Initiative also includes coordinated public space improvements including wayfinding and artist-designed dome installations, to encourage COVID-19 safety and enhance overall shopping experience.

In addition to the artist-designed domes, additional domes were originally planned to serve as a waiting area for retail shops or place to enjoy takeout from restaurants. Public health and safety measures were included in the initial plans for these domes. However, due to the surge in COVID-19 community spread, project partners decided to close these domes until further notice, to protect the health and safety of the community. As an interim use, project partners and local artists have creatively reimagined the domes as festive art installations that can be enjoyed from the outside.