Main Street Grants: Third Phase
Up to $5 million is available for projects in an expanded area of North Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Foundation, in partnership with LISC Twin Cities, Propel Nonprofits, and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda), is now accepting proposals for grants to support business recovery and economic development in two key commercial areas impacted by challenges that have arisen since March 15, 2020, including COVID-19 and the destruction following the murder of George Floyd. Thanks to funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, we will distribute up to $5 million to projects in these geographic areas of North Minneapolis:
- Camden Community Business Corridors. This area is bounded by 53rd Avenue North on the north, the Mississippi River on the east, Lowry Avenue North on the south, and Xerxes Avenue North on the west.
- Washington Avenue and Riverfront Corridor. This area is bounded by I-94 on the west, the Mississippi River on the east, Lowry Avenue on the north, and Plymouth Avenue on the south.
These Main Street grants build on two previous funding rounds focused on other areas of North and South Minneapolis and neighboring suburbs. As of June 2023, the Minneapolis Foundation has committed $13.9 million to 36 projects in these areas. An additional $15.5 million is in the pipeline and will be distributed on a rolling basis as projects that applied for funding in Round 1 and Round 2 secure financing and move forward.
The current funding round was made possible by adjustments to state Main Street guidelines that were made in 2023 in response to community feedback about local needs in North Minneapolis.
All Main Street grants will be distributed through a community-centered process, with significant guidance from a local stakeholder table in North Minneapolis. We will begin accepting applications for this funding opportunity on JULY 10, 2023. All applications must be submitted by 1 P.M. ON AUGUST 23, 2023.
In this phase of funding, we expect to award 7-11 grants totaling up to $5 million. All funding will be committed by December 31, 2024. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2026.
What We Will Fund
Grants are available for predevelopment and design and hard costs related to actual construction. Funds cannot be used for the purchase of property or costs associated with the general operations of a business.
ELIGIBLE EXPENSES: Repair or renovation of real property, building construction, landscaping and streetscaping, predesign and design, engineering, infrastructure, related site amenities
INELIGIBLE EXPENSES: Purchase of real estate, business operations or operating expenses, inventory, wages, working capital
Who Is Eligible to Apply?
Projects must be located in one of these geographic areas: Camden Community Business Corridors or the Washington Avenue and Riverfront Corridor. Priority will be given to businesses and organizations that represent Black, Indigenous, or people of color whose projects will build wealth, create jobs, and stabilize communities in these areas. Projects that have already submitted an application for a Main Street grant through the Minneapolis Foundation are not eligible for this round of funding, regardless of whether their proposal was approved.
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Businesses and property owners, nonprofit organizations, developers (for-profit and nonprofit)
INELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Local governments, prior applicants
Examples of eligible recipients:
- A property owner whose building was damaged by fire and who wants to leverage their insurance proceeds to redevelop the property
- A business owner who has purchased their previously leased space and wants to remodel vacant space on the second and third floors for additional housing or offices
- A nonprofit agency that has purchased a vacant property and wants to develop it into a community-based small business incubator
- A developer that has purchased a vacant lot and wants to develop it into a mixed-use facility with commercial and housing space
- Tenants may apply for Main Street grants. However, priority will be given to applicants who own the property in question and have the ability to create jobs and build generational wealth. All applicants must demonstrate site control of the property in question, whether through ownership, a purchase agreement, or approval from a landlord.
Grant awards can cover up to 30% of an eligible project’s cost, up to $750,000. Projects must demonstrate that they have outside funding from sources such as public or private grants or loans, developer equity, or insurance proceeds. All Main Street grants must be matched with non-state and non-federal funds at a rate of 2 to 1. See this sample chart.
Projects must have secured commitments for all required matching funds and all required development approvals before a grant may be distributed.
Matching funds must be identified, committed, and restricted for use exclusively for this project. They must be secured by December 15, 2023.
Any project receiving more than $200,000 in grants from or backed by the state must comply with prevailing wage requirements under Minnesota Statutes 177.41 through 177.44. More information can be found here.
Before starting your application, be sure to download and review the Application Preview Worksheet.
All application materials must be submitted through the Minneapolis Foundation’s online portal. Applicants will need to create an account in the portal; we encourage you to log in early in the process to ensure that you have access to it.
A local community table will review applications and forward a list of recommended projects to the Minneapolis Foundation for further evaluation. Those recommended for funding will be invited to submit additional application materials. Projects not recommended for funding will be considered for alternative support and other technical assistance.
We will begin accepting applications on JULY 10, 2023. The deadline to apply is 1 p.m. on AUGUST 23, 2023.
FAQs can be found here. If you have questions about accessing the online portal, please contact Grants Administration. If you have questions about the guidelines or need other assistance in the pre-application process, contact Jo-Anne Stately, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Senior Director of Impact Strategies, or Josh Johnson, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Program Officer.