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Main Street Economic Revitalization

Supporting Recovery and Rebuilding in Minneapolis

About

In partnership with LISC Twin Cities and Propel Nonprofits, the Minneapolis Foundation will administer grants for projects in the Minneapolis business corridors worst hit by the impact of COVID-19 and the destruction following the murder of George Floyd. 

Apply for a grant

The Details

These grants are made possible by funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) through a 2021 Main Street Economic Revitalization Program award. $18 million will be distributed. 

Where

Funds will support business recovery and economic development and redevelopment projects along Lake Street, 38th Street/Chicago Avenue, and West Broadway Avenue. 

How

Grants will be distributed through a community-centered process, with significant guidance from local stakeholder tables assembled along each of the business corridors.

When

Grant awards will begin in Spring 2022. All grant funding will be distributed by December 31, 2024. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2026. 

Steps to apply

Step One

First, read through all of the grant requirements to see if you qualify. Eligible applicants include for-profit businesses, property owners, nonprofits, and developers located along Lake Street, 38th Street/Chicago Avenue, and West Broadway Avenue. 

Step Two

Complete a pre-application, which will be reviewed by local community tables along each of the business corridors for eligibility, project readiness, and alignment with funding priorities.

Step Three

If your pre-application is selected for further consideration, you will be invited to submit additional information through the Minneapolis Foundation’s GranteeView system.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I have a business that was damaged in the destruction following George Floyd’s murder, but it is not located in Minneapolis. What assistance is available to me?

    Main Street grants administered by the Minneapolis Foundation focus on projects in Minneapolis along Lake Street, 38th Street, and West Broadway Avenu. However, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is overseeing funding for projects statewide through the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. Visit this website to learn more about other partner organizations that are distributing Main Street grants in St. Paul and other communities throughout Minnesota.

  • English is not my first language. What type of help is available to me in submitting a pre-application?

    We are working with our community partners and community tables to provide assistance with translation. If you need help, email Jo-Anne Stately at jstately@mplsfoundation.org.

  • I have a business located NEAR one of the corridors that was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the destruction following George Floyd’s murder. What are my options for funding?

    If your project is located within a few blocks of one of these business corridors (for example, two blocks off Lake Street), you are probably eligible for funding. If you haven’t already, please email Jo-Anne Stately at jstately@mplsfoundation.org to discuss your proposal with her.

    The Minneapolis Foundation has also submitted a request for a second round of DEED funding that would enable us to expand grant support to Franklin Avenue, Cedar Riverside, larger areas of North Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, and Brooklyn Park.

  • Does my business have to be located in Minneapolis?

    Not necessarily. However, your application must show that your project will directly support business recovery and economic development in one of the three business corridors.

  • Will there be other grant opportunities like this in the future?

    We are not sure. Efforts are currently underway to encourage the Legislature to consider further appropriations for recovery and rebuilding. We encourage all grant seekers to sign up to receive email updates on our Main Street grants and other Minneapolis Foundation grant opportunities here.

  • Are individuals eligible for funding?

    Not as such. Applicants must apply as a type of business or nonprofit that meets the criteria for a grant through the Main Street Revitalization program.

  • Do I need to be a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible for a Main Street grant?

    No. However, all applicants must have a Tax ID Number (TIN) and be current on their taxes.

  • Must I own the space I am seeking to renovate in order to be eligible for a Main Street grant, or may I be a tenant?

    Tenants may apply for Main Street grants. However, all applicants must demonstrate site control of the property in question, whether that’s through ownership, a purchase agreement, or approval from a landlord.

  • Can a landlord and a tenant in the same property submit separate applications for Main Street funding?

    Yes. However, we encourage collaboration and would likely ask whether it makes more sense for the landlord to seek funding for property improvements.

  • I am an independent developer/business owner/community partner participating on a community table reviewing Main Street grant applications. Am I eligible to apply for a Main Street grant?

    Yes, as long as you disclose the conflict of interest and recuse yourself from decision-making about your proposal.

  • Are new businesses eligible for Main Street grants, or only those that were operating before March of 2020?

    New businesses and businesses that did not exist prior to March 2020 are eligible as long as they meet all other program requirements.

  • If I am submitting a grant application in partnership with multiple entities, do we need to identify a single lead applicant?

    Yes. The proposal should identify a lead applicant that will also be the fiscal agent for the grant.

  • Can I apply for grants for multiple projects?

    Yes, but individual applications need to be submitted for each project. Each project must demonstrate dedicated funding commitments.

  • Can we set up a meeting with the Minneapolis Foundation to discuss our pre-application before submitting it?

    Interest in this program is very high. Before contacting our staff, please read the guidelines thoroughly, download the pre-application preview, and review the webinar. If you still have questions or concerns after doing so, send an email to Jo-Anne Stately and jstately@mplsfoundation.org, and she will follow up with you as needed.

  • If we are unable to complete our project by the end of 2026, may we request more time?

    No.

  • Do I need to have all the matching funds raised for my project before I am eligible to apply for a Main Street grant?

    You can apply for a grant without all matching funds in place. However, a project that has some other funding commitments is more likely to receive a Main Street grant, and commitments for all matching funds as well as all required development approvals must be secured before the grant will be distributed.

  • If we are approved for funding, how soon can we expect our grant payment?

    The timing of grant payments will vary by project. No grant payments will be released before a project has met its matching fund requirement. All funding will be distributed by December 31, 2024, and all projects must be completed by December 31, 2026.

  • Can other recovery grants or loans that are used for working capital expenses be considered matching funds for a Main Street grant?

    No. Only funds used for eligible capital costs can be considered matching contributions.

  • Can local government funding (not derived from state or federal sources) count as matching funds for a Main Street grant?

    Yes.

  • Can the purchase of real estate count as matching funds for a Main Street grant?

    No.

  • Can funds I have already expended, such as insurance proceeds, count toward the match requirement? If so, do I need to submit receipts or other documentation of previously expended funds?

    Yes, if expenses were incurred after March 2020. You will be asked to provide documentation of funding sources and amounts.

  • Can Main Street grants be used to pay for works of art, including murals?

    No. However, those costs can be considered part of the matching contribution to a Main Street grant.

  • Can I use a Main Street grant to pay for predevelopment costs?

    Yes. Predevelopment, or pre-design and design costs, are acceptable uses of Main Street funding. These include third-party costs such as architectural, engineering, or legal fees, development consultants, market studies, surveys, appraisals, and environmental reports.

  • Can Main Street funds be used for security upgrades to a property?

    Projects focusing primarily on security upgrades will not be prioritized for funding. However, security upgrades are allowable as part of an overall project budget.

  • Assuming it meets all the other program guidelines, would a project that focuses only on housing (as opposed to mixed-use or commercial space) be eligible for Main Street funding?

    Yes.

  • My business completed a project in 2021. Can I apply for a Main Street grant to cover my expenses retroactively?

    No. However, you could apply for funding for a new phase of your project.

  • What reporting requirements should I expect as a grant recipient?

    We expect to have a close working relationship with grant recipients through successful completion of every project.

    At a minimum, we will schedule check-ins on construction progress or delays and the status of matching funds. Grant recipients must also demonstrate that prevailing wage requirements are met and report on the average wages, number of part-time and full-time jobs created or preserved, and Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) involved in the project. They will also be asked to provide a breakdown of the types of property supported by the grant (e.g., commercial, housing, mixed use).