Main Street Grants Will Support Small Business Recovery in Minneapolis
In partnership with LISC Twin Cities and Propel Nonprofits, the Minneapolis Foundation will administer grants for projects in the business corridors worst hit by COVID-19 and the destruction following George Floyd’s murder.
The Minneapolis Foundation, in partnership with LISC Twin Cities and Propel Nonprofits, today announced the launch of a new grant opportunity to support small business recovery and rebuilding in three of the Minneapolis business corridors worst hit by the combined impact of COVID-19 and the destruction following the murder of George Floyd.
Thanks to a significant funding allocation from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, the Foundation will distribute $18 million in grants to businesses, property owners, developers, and nonprofit organizations advancing renovation or new construction projects along Lake St., 38th St. and Chicago Av. in South Minneapolis, and West Broadway Av. in North Minneapolis.
“These grants build upon work that began in the summer of 2020, when people across our community came together to support small businesses in recovering from uninsured damage estimated at more than $200 million. This state funding is a critical contribution to an unprecedented coalition that also includes large and small nonprofits, large and small businesses, and many community organizations.” — R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis Foundation President & CEO
“We’re excited to be part of this coalition that will help rebuilding efforts in a way that goes beyond simply recreating what was there,” said Peter McLaughlin, Executive Director of LISC Twin Cities. “We will not only help repair what was damaged, but we must also help generate new prosperity and wealth for members of the community.”
“Nonprofits in these corridors are essential community-builders that offer important services like social safety nets, employment opportunities, education, and access to arts and culture; investing in their recovery makes Minneapolis better,” said Kate Barr, President and CEO of Propel Nonprofits.
“It’s exciting to see our partners launch this effort to provide funds to help Minnesota recover from the crisis of the last two years,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Not only will these investments create jobs and opportunity, they will also help energize economic revitalization in some of the areas most deeply impacted by racial inequities in our state.”
The Foundation will begin accepting pre-applications for Main Street grants starting today. Prospective applicants can review detailed grant guidelines and eligibility information here.
Main Street grants will be distributed through a process that was developed with significant guidance from local stakeholder tables composed of residents, business owners, neighborhood associations, lenders, and nonprofits along each of the business corridors. Each table has set priorities that will guide funding decisions, and they will review all grant proposals, making recommendations to the Minneapolis Foundation about which to advance in the application process.
Grant proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis through the Minneapolis Foundation’s website, with awards beginning in Spring 2022. All Main Street grants will be distributed by December 2024, and all funded projects must be completed by December 2026.
Applicants may apply for up to 30% of an eligible project’s cost, up to $750,000. Funding may be used for repair or renovation of real property, building construction, landscaping and streetscaping, predesign and design, engineering, infrastructure, and related site amenities.
Eligible 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.
Businesses and members of the public can support these recovery efforts through the Main Street Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation. To make an online, tax-deductible contribution, go here.
These Main Street grants build on a variety of recovery efforts begun in 2020 by the Minneapolis Foundation, Propel, LISC, and many other community partners. These investments include support flowing to local businesses through Propel’s Recovery Capital Loans, LISC’s Community Asset Transition (CAT) Fund, and investments made by the Minneapolis Foundation through the OneMPLS Fund and the Restore-Rebuild-Reimagine Fund.
“These grants will start to be committed over the new few months, supplementing many millions in philanthropic funding that have already been invested in these heroic business leaders,” Rybak said. “We know the road ahead is long, but we are committed to supporting their vision of a community that is stronger than ever.”
To learn more about the Main Street grants, visit this webpage.