Main Street Grants:
$11.5 million is available to grant.
To better support grant applicants during the busy holiday season, the Minneapolis Foundation has decided to extend the application period for our second phase of Main Street grants. Proposals are now due by 1 p.m. on February 15, 2023.
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 along key commercial corridors impacted by challenges that have arisen since March 2020, including COVID-19 and the destruction following the murder of George Floyd. Thanks to funding announced this spring from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, $11.5 million will be distributed to projects in these corridors:
- East Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis, from West River Parkway to Nicollet Avenue.
- The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. This area is bounded by the Mississippi River on the north and east, by Hiawatha Avenue and Interstate 35W on the west, and by Interstate 94 on the south.
- Lowry Avenue in North Minneapolis, from North 2nd Street to North Xerxes Avenue.
- Penn Avenue in North Minneapolis, from 394 South to West Broadway Avenue.
- Commercial corridors in Brooklyn Center
- Commercial corridors in Brooklyn Park
These grants represent the second phase of Main Street funding administered by the Minneapolis Foundation. In October 2022, the Minneapolis Foundation and its partners announced $10 million in Main Street grants to support projects on Lake Street, West Broadway Avenue, and 38th and Chicago Avenue. Some applications submitted in that grant round, which is now closed, are still undergoing final review. Those awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
All Main Street grants will be distributed through a community-centered process, with significant guidance from local stakeholder tables assembled in these areas in response to the crises of 2020.
We will begin accepting applications for this funding opportunity on October 25, 2022. All proposals must be submitted by 1 p.m. on February 15, 2023.
In this phase of funding, the Foundation has $11.5 million available and expects to award approximately 20 grants. 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 commercial corridors: East Franklin Avenue, the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, the areas around Lowry and Penn avenues in North Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, or Brooklyn Park. 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 along the corridors.
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Businesses and property owners, nonprofit organizations, developers (for-profit and nonprofit)
INELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Local governments
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 2nd and 3rd floor 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 that’s 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.
Local community tables along each of the business corridors will review applications and forward a list of recommended projects to the Minneapolis Foundation for further evaluation. Those that are 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 October 25, 2022. The deadline to apply is 1 p.m. on February 15, 2023.
If you have questions about the guidelines or need other assistance in the pre-application process, contact Jo-Anne Stately, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Director of Impact Strategy – Economic Vitality, or Josh Johnson, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Program Associate.