$1.1M to be awarded to southern Minnesota businesses through partnership with DEED

Published 3:20 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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Through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) will award $1.1 million in competitive grants to businesses in southern Minnesota to invest in existing operations or planned growth.

Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000 and can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, equipment and other similar expenses that occur in the regular course of business.

Grant awards will be limited and approved on a competitive basis. Not all eligible businesses will receive a grant. Primary business operations must be located in SMIF’s region, which includes 20 counties and one Native nation. Businesses must earn $750,000 or less in gross revenue (based on 2021 taxes) to be eligible. Additional eligibility requirements are listed on SMIF’s website.

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The grant cycle opened Wednesday and will close on April 24. For the application and guidelines visit smifoundation.org/promise. Contact Melissa Langer (melissal@smifoundation.org) or Brian Conzemius (brianc@smifoundation.org) with questions.

The PROMISE Act is funded by one-time allocation from the state of Minnesota Legislature in partnership with DEED. This program looks to drive economic recovery in the region through grants to small businesses in south central and southeastern Minnesota experiencing lack of access to capital, loss of population or an aging population, or a lack of regional economic diversification.

“We are honored to, once again, partner with MN DEED to support entrepreneurs in southern Minnesota,” said Tim Penny, president and CEO of SMIF. “This will be an important boost for economic development in our region.”

The PROMISE Act Grant is a statewide program with multiple partners accepting applications throughout Minnesota. SMIF is one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations that will accept applications through this program.