OWATONNA, Minn., December 5, 2019 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved seven grants totaling $101,740 to support organizations, units of government and public institutions in SMIF’s 20-county region.
The Economic Impact Grant Program seeks to support current or future business growth, access or expansion of resources to underrepresented populations, and/or grow the community’s ability to embrace and develop a grow-your-own community culture.
The 2019 Economic Impact Grant award recipients are:
  • $13,300 to the City of Dodge Center to create a program that increases and diversifies the business community in Dodge Center.
  • $9,200 to Dodge County Economic Development Authority to conduct economic development outreach to the Hispanic community in Dodge County through information sessions, business counseling and grantmaking.
  • $19,990 to Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment Through Research (HACER) to support “Creando Ando (Create and Advance)”, a program that will build personal confidence and entrepreneurial mindset through Design Thinking among Latinx businesses in Rochester.
  • $4,200 to Lanesboro Economic Development Authority to host educational workshops free of charge to local business owners.
  • $15,050 to the Regents of the University of Minnesota to provide applied learning opportunities on business succession planning for small businesses in southern Minnesota.
  • $20,000 to South Central Region Small Business Development Center to support women entrepreneurs and small business owners in south-central Minnesota through trainings, educational events and peer networking.
  • $20,000 to the City of Saint James to provide business development services in Spanish and English to support the Latinx community.
“At SMIF, we strongly believe that communities which invest in their people are ultimately investing in their local economy,” said Pam Bishop, Vice President of Economic Development at SMIF. “These grants will support ideas to grow economic opportunities in southern Minnesota.”
For more information on SMIF’s grantmaking, contact Jennifer Heien at or 507-214-7040. 

Media Contact:

Katie Godfrey
Communications Coordinator