On May 17, 2022, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced grantee partners for the second round of the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.
This $80 million statewide economic redevelopment program, distributed through two rounds of funding, awards grants to partner organizations to establish programs within specific communities that will, in turn, fund economic development and redevelopment projects.
The second round of grants awards over $40 million to organizations across Minnesota.
“I’m thrilled by the range of creative and dynamic development proposals we got from main streets across the state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.
“These investments will help re-build business clusters hit hardest by the challenges of the last few years – and they’ll create jobs and spark economic revitalization throughout Minnesota,” he added.
This program provides grants to nonprofit partner organizations—to fund 30% matching grants up to $750,000, and guaranteed loans up to $2,000,000 to eligible recipients for eligible projects—that are designed to address the greatest economic development and redevelopment needs that have arisen in communities across Minnesota since March 15, 2020. That includes hardship suffered due to the COVID-19 crisis, civil unrest, and other challenges for commercial corridors since that date.
The following 14 organizations have been selected as partner organizations through the second round of Main Street Economic Revitalization awards. These groups will implement Main Street Revitalization efforts in their regions:
- Center for Economic Inclusion, Saint Paul, $1,000,000
The Center for Economic Inclusion is a nonprofit organization focused on closing racial employment, income, and wealth gaps, and building racially inclusive and equitable regional economies. The Center for Economic Inclusion will work with NEOO Partners, the Mustard Seed Fund, and Ramsey and Hennepin counties to support Black- and Latino-owned small businesses with financing to spur commercial development and redevelopment along specified metro corridors.
- Chinese American Chamber of Commerce, Bloomington, $1,000,000
The Chinese American Chamber of Commerce (CACC-MN) is a nonprofit serving Asian American small businesses and community development in Minnesota. Through this funding CACC-MN plans to support economic development and redevelopment projects that deliver the most economic impacts in specified West Metro and West Metro suburban areas with the greatest needs due to conditions that have risen since March 15, 2020.
- Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency, Rochester, $988,000
The Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency supports the Destination Medical Center initiative in collaboration with the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the DMC Corporation. This second round of funding will expand their Main Street Economic Revitalization initiative to provide grants to businesses on the outside of Rochester’s central business district to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Faribault, $780,000
The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has served area businesses since 1913. The Chamber advocates for businesses, and builds community alliances with the goal of promoting growth and prosperity in the Faribault community. Working with partner organizations, the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism will provide grants to support economic development projects that deliver significant revitalized impact to the Faribault downtown area.
- Heartland Lakes Development Commission, Park Rapids, $260,000
The Heartland Lakes Development Commission facilitates economic growth in the region that includes Park Rapids, Nevis, Dorset, and Lake George. This second round of funding will expand their program to the City of Akeley, and to provide grants to additional businesses in the commercial districts of Park Rapids, MN and support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Foundation, Mankato, $2,000,000
The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Foundation is a 501(c)3 foundation managed by Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) – an organization focusing on supporting and promoting economic growth in the Greater Mankato area. Through this funding GMG will provide grants to businesses to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis within key commercial corridors in the Greater Mankato area.
- Initiative Foundation, Little Falls, $4,500,000
The Initiative Foundation is a Regional Community Foundation supporting economic and community development in 163 cities and 14 Counties across Central Minnesota. The foundation plans to support economic recovery projects in some of the following downtown/main street corridors: Little Falls, Cold Spring, Long Prairie, Brainerd, St. Cloud/East St. Cloud and Pine River.
- The Minneapolis Foundation, Minneapolis, $16,750,000
The Minneapolis Foundation is a community foundation supporting efforts to address the greatest civic, social and economic needs of Minneapolis and surrounding communities through grantmaking, research, advocacy and donor services. Their project will expand on their existing funding to include partnering with MEDA and others to provide grants and loans to businesses in expanded areas of Minneapolis and surrounding areas impacted by the social unrest of summer 2020 and impacts due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Northland Foundation, $4,280,600
The Northland Foundation is a foundation serving seven northeastern Minnesota counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis, and all or parts of five Native nations with shared geography: Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. The foundation plans to support economic development and redevelopment projects that deliver the most economic impact for the rural communities and Tribal Nations of Northeast Minnesota, with the greatest needs due to conditions that have risen since March 15, 2020.
- Northwest Minnesota Foundation, $2,200,000
Northwest Minnesota Foundation is one of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations and serves the Northwest Minnesota community. Their project plans to provide grants and loans to businesses within the commercial corridors of Bemidji, East Grand Forks and the Highway 59 corridor within White Earth Nation boundaries, to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, $2,340,000
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) invests for economic growth in the 20 counties of south central and southeastern Minnesota. Their project will provide grants in the hospitality, retail, and childcare industries specifically in the commercial corridors of Northfield, Blooming Prairie and other Southern Minnesota regions to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and natural disasters since March 15, 2020.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation, $1,840,000
Southwest Initiative Foundation is a rural, regional community foundation serving the 18 counties and two Native Nations of Southwest Minnesota. Their project will expand on their existing funding to provide grants to businesses in the commercial corridors of Willmar, Marshall and Montevideo to support the economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
- West Central Initiative, $3,500,000
West Central Initiative is a nonprofit community foundation that serves the western Minnesota region. Their project plans to support corridors and communities that were significantly impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns and whose economies rely on summer tourism from the West to the lakes area, including communities of Browns Valley and Morris, and communities intersected by State Highway 10 from Moorhead to Bluffton.
- Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, $1,000,000
The Winona Area Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)3 that plans to provide grants to qualifying businesses/capital development projects in downtown Winona, with the goal of supporting the economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Partner organizations receiving grant funds from this program will use the funds to establish a program within their service area to provide assistance to eligible recipient and projects. Once programs are established, partner organizations can offer grants up to $750,000 per project or up to $2,000,000 in guaranteed loans. Leveraged grants can cover up to 30% of the project cost. Guaranteed loans will be guaranteed by the state up to 80% of the value of the loan.
Leverage grants and guaranteed loans can be used by eligible recipients for the following:
- Repair, or renovation of real property
- Building construction
- Landscaping and streetscaping
- Demolition and site preparation
- Predesign and design
- Related site amenities
Organizations who received grant awards in both rounds of this program are using the round 2 funding on entirely new business corridors. A team of reviewers, including experts in community development outside of DEED, helped score the proposals to inform DEED’s final grant allocations.
Eligible recipients will not apply directly to DEED for funding – they will apply directly to the partner organizations identified above. As they set up their programs, the partner organizations can be contacted directly for more information and details around how to request assistance for a specific eligible project.
Photo courtesy of DEED.