Destination Medical Center (DMC) and the City of Rochester announced a new grant program to assist Rochester small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Keep It Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant Program will reward businesses who are exemplifying innovation and collaboration by working together in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. The city is offering $50,000 in grant funds with DMC contributing $50,000 to businesses located in the DMC District.
“This is yet another way we can support small businesses during this challenging time,” said Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency. “This new grant program that DMC is helping to fund will provide new opportunities for businesses today as they prepare for tomorrow’s new normal.”
The grant encourages small businesses to team up with other local businesses and collaborate on ways to respond, adapt, and strengthen Rochester’s economy now and for the future. For example, a small business facing new challenges could employ the services of another local, small business to help develop new, innovative solutions or update its business model.
Both the grant applicant and its service provider must be located within the City of Rochester municipal limits, and neither can employ more than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Grants may not exceed $2,000. Applying for this grant will NOT disqualify a business for additional funds from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Emergency Loan Program, any of the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) assistance programs, or any other local assistance programs that may be available.
The Rochester Downtown Alliance will administer the Keep It Local Grant on behalf of the city and DMC as a service to the community.
To apply or for more information about grant eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria, please click here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning Friday, April 17, 2020.
The Economic Stability Team, comprised of representatives from the City of Rochester, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. (RAEDI), Olmsted County, Destination Medical Center (DMC), and the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) — recently engaged city residents to identify business needs not currently being addressed by city, state, and federal relief programs. This grant will help meet those needs.