ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud Downtown Council is working with local young professionals to keep downtown a fun, edgy and innovative place to be.

Pegg Gustafson is the President of the Council, she says there are over 620 businesses and 10,000 employees in downtown St. Cloud: making it full of opportunity for the younger generation.

"Of course that's also the largest group coming up, everybody is trying to reach out to them. We want to make sure that they feel welcome and part of the community."

The website has named St. Cloud a top city for young entrepreneurs (28th of 181 metropolitan areas).

The Council is also emphasizing bringing in fun events to continue bringing in new people to downtown areas. Gustafson says art crawls, concerts, pub tours, the Winter Nights & Lights Festival and historic tours have all been popular in enticing younger generations to visit downtown.

On top of this, the downtown has grown significantly over the last few years. There was around $17.9 million in commercial investment in the area during the first half 2016. That compares to over $9 million in 2014-2015.

"There are a lot of partnerships, people are definitely re-investing in downtown in both the private and public sector," Gustafson says.

The Downtown Council is taking part in a free bus tour-networking event for St. Cloud young professionals. The tour will start at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27th at Cowboy Jacks. They will be giving information on opportunities in the area and will take feedback on how to improve the downtown for the upcoming generation.

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