Red Wing Offers $40K Incentive For New Restaurants

Red Wing, which also recently launched a business incubator, is now hosting a contest aimed at attracting new restaurants to its downtown.

The City of Red Wing wants to attract new restaurants and chefs to its downtown—and it's offering incentive packages valued at upwards of $40,000 to selected eateries.

The city said that it's in need of more restaurants. In fact, a study compiled in 2010 found that demand for food and drink in Red Wing exceeded $30.5 million per year, while its current lineup of dining establishments can offer less than $20 million, the city said.

So it has launched its “Restaurant Challenge,” through which it will award up to three selected restaurateurs with $25,000 in cash, as well as other incentives, to open in the city's downtown. The full incentive package includes free or discounted advertising, consulting , IT, and banking services, as well as discounted rent, in addition to the cash award, and is valued at up to $40,000, according to Red Wing.

Interested restaurateurs can apply here, and they are asked to include a one-page overview of their restaurant proposal and a $50 credit application screening fee. Applications are due by May 15, and applicants that are in the running will be asked to submit a more thorough business plan. (More detailed rules are available here.)

The restaurant challenge is the latest in a series of efforts aimed at bolstering Red Wing's economy. For example, Twin Cities Business reported last fall that a new business incubator was launching in the city.

And other Minnesota cities have also made concerted efforts to attract new businesses by using creative incentives. For example, Duluth has offered free rent during the holidays.