Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant Program

The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center accepted an award of $3.12 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) on October 14, 2021, as a part of their recently created Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. The grant dollars will be used to help central business districts rebuild and reposition themselves in the face of a substantially changing downtown economy. Rochester was one of eight communities receiving funding, with a total investment of approximately $40 million being invested across the state.

We at DMC have received many questions about the grant. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Main Street Frant Program.

  1. What is the Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant Program?
    This is a state-funded initiative intended to provide no-cost grants for capital improvement projects in central business districts across the state.
    Projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value are eligible. Business operational expenses are not eligible. Applicants must also have other sources of funding to “match” any funds given by this program, details are below.
  2. Who may apply for funding?
    Any person or company planning to invest in eligible capital projects in the DMC development district (map below) may apply. Priority will be given to businesses and organizations that represent veteran, disabled, Black, Indigenous, or people of color whose projects will build wealth, create jobs, and stabilize communities along the corridors.
  3. What investments may be funded by the grant?
    Capital investments, such as:
    − Repair or renovation of real property, including expansions and additions
    − Demolition, site preparation, and building construction
    − Landscaping, streetscaping and related site amenities
    − Engineering, pre-design and design work
    − Infrastructure
  4. What are the primary objectives?
    – Revitalizing properties in the DMC district harmed by the events of the past two years.
    – Elevating opportunities for BIPOC, veteran, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), or disabled business and property owners.
    – Creating and retaining permanent jobs.
    – Enabling existing businesses to strengthen and diversify their products and services.
  5. Are funds available for projects already completed?
    No, these funds are only available for new projects as described in your application.
  6. What if I have already started the project?
    The funds can’t be used for work already in progress. However, the funds can be used for work that has not yet been started. The work yet-to-be-done would need to be described in your application.
  7. What investments may NOT be funded by the grant?
    The purchase of real estate is not eligible, nor are business operations or business operating expenses, such as inventory, wages, or working capital.
  8. How much is the DMC EDA’s grant award?
    The DMC EDA will be distributing up to $3 million in grants with a maximum of $750,000 per award. These grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project cost. The remaining funds must come from other sources.
    For example:
          a. A $100,000 capital project can be awarded up to $30,000 in Main Street Grant funds. The remaining balance must be funded through other sources.
  9. What can be used for the matching funds?
    Loans, equity, and local government funding not derived from state or federal sources can be used for the match.
  10. When can interested applicants apply for funding?
    The DMC EDA intends to begin accepting applications no later than May 2022. DEED requires all funds to be awarded no later than Dec 31, 2024, and the projects must be completed by Dec 31, 2026. If you have a project that might qualify, we encourage you to contact [email protected] to set up a call for more information.
  11. What is the application process?
    DEED has designated the DMC EDA to develop a customized application process for projects in Rochester. The DMC EDA is engaging local stakeholders, and will utilize a community co-design team, to develop an accessible application and review process. The details of this application process will be forthcoming as the design of the application gets developed.
  12. What details will be finalized in the coming weeks and months?
    A) Identifying community co-designers that will help the DMC EDA:

    • Build the application and review process
    • Engage outreach and communication partners
    • Identify resources that DMC EDA can make available to applicants

    B) Building and publishing a webpage
    C) Begin reviewing applications
    D) Issuing grant awards

  13. Who is providing the grant funding?
    Funding is provided by the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED).
  14. Why did the State of Minnesota initiate this program?
    The grant program is intended to help central business districts physically rebuild and reposition themselves in the face of a substantially changing downtown economy.
  15. Who is administering the grant program in Rochester?
    The Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA), a private non-profit corporation located in downtown Rochester, MN. The DMC EDA applied for and secured the grant award with the support of the City of Rochester.
    Eligible projects must be within the DMC District boundaries (map above).

Rochester Awarded 3 Million Dollar Main Street Grant from Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

211014_MSERG Round 1 Announcement