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Second round of applications opens for Main Street Grant program

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

Downtown Worthington
The downtown corridor of Worthington is one of three areas eligible as part of the new Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.
The Globe File Photo
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WORTHINGTON — The second round of applications for the new Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is currently open, offering grants for Worthington businesses within three city areas.

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Partnering with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Southwest Initiative Foundation and the City of Worthington were allocated $750,000 for grant awards within eligible commercial corridors.

Included in this program is the Worthington downtown commercial district, spanning from Ninth Street to 12th Street and between First Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Commercial properties along North Humiston Avenue from Oxford Street to I-90 and Oxford Street from Diagonal Road to the U.S. 59 roundabout are also included.

“We think it is a beautiful opportunity for folks to get some capital to revitalize their building,” said SWIF program administrator Scott Marquardt.

Grant funds can cover up to 30% of the project cost, with the maximum amount viable for allocation and reimbursement capped at $30,000. As for project eligibility, funds can be used for building construction, landscaping, demolition and site preparation, accessibility improvements, and other projects.

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“This is a brand new pilot program,” Marquardt said. “We're grateful for folks, for this patience, and willingness to engage with us and just trust us, because, again, it's a brand new program, and we're learning as we go.”

Worthington was selected for the initial rollout of the program, as part of what Marquardt classifies as “a key part of the state’s pandemic response,” along with the communities of Granite Falls and Litchfield. He also noted that Worthington city staff and program representative Jorge Lopez have been an instrumental part in shaping the Worthington grant and spreading the word to potential applicants.

One round of applications has already been received, and SWIF is currently working with selected applicants to finalize grant contract forms. With additional funds still available, the second round of applications will be open until 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

“If you're in one of the three corridors, and you're on the fence, we encourage you to apply,” Marquardt said, noting that resources are available, should applicants need one-on-one assistance. “There's no fee to apply. If you apply and change your mind, there's no penalty.”

Anyone interested in applying should contact Marquardt at (320) 583 - 4629, or Lopez at (507) 920-4629. Applications can be returned by postal mail, email, or in-person to Worthington City Planner Matt Selof or Lopez prior to the Oct. 14 deadline.

“We just appreciate everyone's support,” added Marquardt. “We really think that…Worthington is going to have some beautiful projects that will be a showcase for why this program is great.”

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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