Friday, January 27, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Grant Funding Flows to Struggling Main Streets in MN

Play

Wednesday, November 2, 2022   

For some Minnesota small businesses, it's been harder to fully recover from major events of the past two years. A state grant program has a new round of funding for capital improvements, and partners say the goal is to get the money to areas of high need.

Minnesota is in its latest phase of the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, established last year. One partner in distributing funding is the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, with a key focus on commercial corridors in the East Metro affected by the pandemic, civil unrest and other challenges.

Claire Thomas, economic development program manager for the East Side Neighborhood Development Company, said business owners of color have particularly struggled.

"A lot of those lifelines that were put out to businesses during the pandemic, like PPP loans, they really were able to help a lot of businesses," Thomas acknowledged. "But for a lot of micro businesses, BIPOC-owned businesses, those programs were still pretty tough to access."

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of up to $750,000 if they have had economic struggles going back to March 2020. They are required to secure matching funds, and the Foundation can assist with those needs.

State officials say in some cases around the state, the program helps Main Street corridors still reeling from events like natural disasters.

Brandon Toner, director of the office of small business partnerships for the Department of Employment and Economic Development, said while a large manufacturing plant might create a lot of jobs for a community, the impact of small businesses cannot be overlooked.

"These are places that make a city, or Main Street or a town, a place where people want to live, people want to spend money," Toner contended.

Three out of every four jobs in Minnesota are in businesses with fewer than 500 employees. In diverse communities in the East Metro, Thomas pointed out the locations have purposes which go beyond sales and service.

"So, whether it's a place for community members to gather, for them to get their basic needs met, or to be able to celebrate together," Thomas noted. "We have a lot of cultural and community centers."

Community partners are facilitating grants for targeted corridors elsewhere in Minnesota, including other parts of the Twin Cities, as well as communities like Worthington.

Disclosure: The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021