May 19, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency are pleased to announce the launch of the $3 million Main Street Grant program. Funding for the grant was awarded on October 14, 2021, from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.
“Destination Medical Center has established itself as one of the leading economic development partnerships in the country,” said Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove. “These new investments in Main Street revitalization will create jobs and growth in Rochester – particularly in corridors hit hardest by the pandemic.”
The Main Street Grant program intends to provide no-cost grants for capital improvement projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value. The grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project costs with applicants securing other sources of funding to match any funds granted by this program.
Any person or organization planning to invest in eligible capital projects in the DMC district may apply. Businesses and organizations that represent Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), veteran, disabled, Black, Indigenous, or people of color whose projects will build wealth, create jobs, and stabilize communities in the district are strongly encouraged to apply.
“We are pleased to be launching the Main Street Grant program and we are grateful for the efforts of our community partners in shaping the application process,” said DMC Director of Business Development Chris Schad. “The Main Street Grant program reflects our shared vision of equitable access to financial tools for property owners and small businesses.”
DMC worked with six community co-designers to help guide the design process of the Main Street Grant program. Co-designers are connectors to underrepresented community members with different perspectives – cultural, religious, mobility, mental health, and socio-economic. The community co-designers engaged with their communities to discuss how the application and approval process could be more accessible to under-represented communities.
“Co-design was a conscious and intentional effort to make an application process with the people it intends to serve,” said Kevin Bright, DMC’s Director of Housing and Sustainability. “From its use, we learned many challenges the community faces in accessing grant opportunities and we believe provided a set of tools, resources, connections, and support to allow as many as possible to ease their access to these funds. We want to thank our co-designers whose commitment to the project and the community, we think created a much more equitable outcome”.
In addition to the $3 million grant award in October, MN DEED announced a second round of funding on Tuesday, May 17, of which DMC was awarded an additional $988,000. This second round of funding will expand the Main Street Economic Revitalization initiative to provide grants to businesses outside of the DMC district to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The City of Rochester and our partners in economic development, particularly DEED, DMC and RAEDI, understand the importance of having healthy, viable neighborhood commercial corridors”, said Deputy City Administrator Cindy Steinhauser. “This funding from the DEED Main Street Economic Revitalization program will provide funding to support equitable, economic recovery for these neighborhoods devastated by the impacts of COVID-19. We want to thank the State of Minnesota and DEED for creating opportunities for cities and for their confidence in investing in Rochester’s recovery.”
The details for the second Main Street Grant program will be announced in the coming months.