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Main Street Economic Revitalization Program

Greater Mankato Growth was awarded $1,913,462 by the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), the state's principal economic development agency, to distribute under the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program (MSERP). The purpose of these grant funds is to assist business owners and developers along US 169/MN 60 and US 14 in the City Center in repairing, renovating, developing, and redeveloping of properties in these corridors. The goal of this program is to create jobs and increase the tax base of the targeted areas. 

Upon opening the application, all applications received in the first month will be reviewed together. Following award decisions, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the first $1 million has been awarded. Once $1 million has been awarded in 2022, all new applications will be reviewed together in January 2023. If funds remain, applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. $150,000 in funding will be reserved for projects of $15,000 or less until March 31, 2023.

 Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions can assist businesses in preparation for a grant application. Answers are subject to change. 

 

What is the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program (MSERP)?

The Main Street Economic Revitalization program is supported by the State of Minnesota through a grant from the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), the state's principal economic development agency. This program is intended to provide grants for capital improvement projects in commercial corridors across the state.

Projects resulting in the development, redevelopment, renovation, or repair of buildings are eligible for funding under this program.

Funding is available to anyone who has plans to invest in an eligible project per the requirements listed below. Priority will be given to business owners or developers from underserved populations including Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) individuals, LGBTQI individuals, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals, and individuals living in rural communities.

Who is administering the grant program locally?

The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Foundation (GMG) applied for and received $2 Million for the Greater Mankato Area. The foundation serves as the fiscal host of these funds and will subgrant funds to eligible recipients.

GMG will be working with Region Nine Development Commission, the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, Minnesota Council of Churches – Mankato Refugee Services, and HACER to successfully develop and manage this program.

What can a business receive as part of this grant program?

Businesses can receive a grant for up to 30% of the total project cost. Eligible expenses include:

•Repair, or renovation of real property

•Building construction

•Landscaping and streetscaping

•Demolition and site preparation

•Predesign and design

•Engineering

•Non-publicly owned infrastructure

•Related site amenities

The following expenses are ineligible:

•The purchase of real estate or business operations

•Business operating expenses such as inventory, wages, or working capital

 

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2026

An applicant should check with their local municipality for all permitting, zoning and ordinance requirements.

What is the maximum and minimum amount of funding that can be received under this program?

The maximum amount of funding available under this program is $750,000, which can be received by projects with a total cost of $2,500,000 or more; however, in order to fund as many projects as possible, a soft cap of $200,000 has been set.

Projects receiving $200,000 or more must comply with prevailing wage requirements as required by the State of Minnesota.

The minimum amount of funding available under this program is $1,500, which can be received by projects with a total cost of $5,000 or more. $150,000 has been reserved for projects requesting $15,000 or less.

Which prevailing wage guidelines and rates impact this program?

Projects receiving $200,000 or more must follow the prevailing wage guidelines set by Minnesota State Statutes 177.41 through 177.44 and outlined by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry here: Prevailing-wage information | Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (mn.gov) 

Prevailing wage rates for each county can be found here: Prevailing wage: Commercial rates | Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (mn.gov)

 

Who is eligible to apply for this grant program?

Business owners or developers with property located in Blue Earth or Nicollet County who have projects located in one of the three commercial corridors linked below and have plans to develop, redevelop, renovate, or make repairs to their property are eligible to apply. Projects that make an investment in preparation for a future project can apply to cover any of the eligible expenses listed above.

Individuals leasing space should work with their landlord for any potential application.

 MN Main Street - Greater Mankato Commercial Corridors (arcgis.com)

When can I apply for a grant under this program and when will funding be available?

We hope to open the grant application in July or August 2022.

No more than $1 million in funds will be granted in 2022 with remaining funds granted in 2023

$150,000 in funding will be reserved for projects requesting $15,000 or less until those funds are exhausted or until March 31, 2023.

 What are examples of eligible projects?

 

The following are some examples to give you an idea of whether a project is eligible. Not all eligible projects will receive funding. Some types of projects that are not listed below may be eligible.

1.       Development:

                                                               i.      Building a new structure on previously vacant land.

                                                             ii.      Adding additional space onto an existing structure.

2.       Redevelopment:

                                                               i.      Demolishing an existing structure and constructing something new

                                                             ii.      Repurposing an existing structure to find a new use

3.       Renovation

                                                               i.      Making an improvement to a building façade (storefront)

                                                             ii.      Remodeling the interior of a building

                                                           iii.      Remodeling a doorway or building a ramp to improve ADA compliant accessibility 

4.       Repair

                                                               i.      Repairing a leaking roof

                                                             ii.      Fixing broken windows or doors

                                                           iii.      Resolving a safety concern

                                                           iv.      Adding fire suppression/sprinklers

 

Who decides if my project will receive funding?

A committee of community reviewers will review all projects and create recommendations for project funding. Region Nine Development Commission will use these recommendations to determine which projects receive funding and how much funding will be received.

Where can I receive help with my application? 

The Small Business Development Center will be providing support to businesses seeking to apply to this program. You can sign up to receive support by going to www.MyMinnesotaBusiness.com

What should I consider as I complete my application?

Grant applicants will be asked to show that their project accomplishes one or more of the following goals:

1.       The project will retain existing jobs and/or create new jobs

2.       The project will increase the property value of the structure or vacant site

3.       The project will positively impact the community & residents beyond indicated economic measures. Applicants will be asked to highlight any elements of their project that positively impact members of the underserved populations listed above:

                                                               i.      Examples include but are not limited to:

1.       Adding ADA accessibility

2.       Providing access to culturally appropriate spaces

3.       Improving community aesthetics & vitality

 

4.       The project will positively impact other businesses in the corridor

                                                               i.      Examples include but are not limited to:

1.       Project will be a supplier or customer of other businesses

2.       Project will increase traffic to surrounding businesses 

3.       Project will raise property values of surrounding businesses

 

Do I need to complete my application in English?

 We are working with translators to create copies of this application in other languages. Applications will be accepted in the native language of the applicant.

What projects will receive priority? 

Priority will be given to the following project types:

1.       Projects submitted by applicants from underrepresented communities

2.       Projects that develop or redevelop vacant land or blighted buildings

3.       Projects that resolve a health or safety risk 

4.       Projects that are located in areas that meet the objectives of a strategic plan adopted by a public body

I am located just outside of the boundaries, can I apply?

As all corridors are impacted by the land surrounding the corridors, projects located within a 10-minute walk from the corridor, as estimated by Google Maps, will be eligible. 

MN Main Street - Greater Mankato Commercial Corridors (arcgis.com)

My business lost money during COVID-19, can I apply for funds to cover those expenses under this program?

No, this program cannot cover lost revenue or other operating expenses.  

My project has already started, can I apply for funds under this program?

This funding cannot provide funding for work underway. This funding can cover additions made to the original project plans. These additions should be referenced in the application. Please highlight how this funding allows for an addition in your grant application.

I need to start my project prior to grant decision, can I apply for funds under this program?

This funding cannot provide funding for work started before a grant decision and agreement is made. If your project is constructed in multiple phases, you can apply for funds to support a later phase of your project.

My project will not be completed by December 31, 2026, can I still apply?

Work receiving funding under this program must be completed by December 31, 2026. If your project is multi-phase, please only submit a grant request for the phase(s) of your project that will be completed prior to December 31, 2026.

I am leasing a space, can I apply for funds under this program?

If your business is leasing a space, you should work with your landlord to determine if eligible work can be performed on your business.

What can be used for the matching funds?

Personal capital, loans, private grants, and local government funding can all be used towards the matching requirement. A small amount of the matching funds (no more than 33% of the grant award) can come from state or federal sources.

For example: A $100,000 project could receive $30,000 and must provide a $70,000 match. At least $60,000 must come from sources that are not derived from state or federal funds.  No more than $10,000 can come from other state or federal programs.

The purchase of real estate or business operations or business operating expenses, such as inventory, wages, or working capital cannot be used as matching funds

I have additional questions not addressed here, who can I ask?

If you have additional questions, please contact Greater Mankato Growth at info@greatermankato.com.

 

 

Our region could not have received this grant without the support of the partners listed below. Thank you to all of them:

This Program is supported, in part, by the State of Minnesota through a grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development

The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Family: Visit Mankato City Center Partnership