SMIF awards a record $200,075 in Small Town Grants

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved 25 grants totaling $200,075 to support small towns of 10,000 or less in SMIF’s 20-county region.

One of the grants was for $4,000 to United South Central Public Schools in Wells for a series of events that will help students explore careers and encourage students to return to the area for employment post-graduation.

The Small Town Grant program was launched in 2017 to support smaller communities which can benefit from additional financial resources to help them grow and address challenges. Since then, SMIF has supported 69 projects through the Small Town Grant program. In 2021, SMIF received a generous donation to this program from Paul Johnson, allowing for more projects in small towns to be funded.

“We are pleased to be awarding a record number of grants in the fifth year of this program,” said SMIF President and CEO Tim Penny. “Small towns are the fabric of our region. We are honored to play a part in supporting their community vitality efforts with help from a generous gift from Paul Johnson, who wants southern Minnesota’s smallest communities to thrive.”