Economic Development Grants
SMIF's Economic Development Grants are designed to support new asset-based, collaborative initiatives. Projects must demonstrate measurable results and advance SMIF’s mission of promoting economic development in its 20-county region.
We are looking for new projects that provide education and technical support for new or existing entrepreneurs and businesses. Examples include business incubators, coworking spaces, one-on-one technical assistance, business skill training, and business outreach.
- Proposals must be submitted by a 501(c)(3) organization, a unit of government or a public agency.
- Proposals must demonstrate benefit to SMIF’s 20-county region.
- Funding requests up to $20,000 will be considered.
- Only one application per organization will be considered.
- Projects must be completed within one year of the grant award date.
- All grants require a 100% match, at least 25% cash and the remainder in-kind.
Ineligible organizations or activities include:
- Individuals, businesses, or other for-profit organizations
- General operating expenses and expenses not directly related to the project/program
- Capital funding, fixed assets, campaigns or endowments
- Existing deficits
- Programs or services mandated by law
- Projects/programs already in progress or completed
- Funds for re-granting or to establish loan pools
- Strategic planning without tangible outcomes within the 12-month timeframe
- Organizations that have an “open” cash grant with SMIF or have not satisfied a grant obligation within the past 12 months
- Development or purchase of school curriculum without tangible outcomes within the 12-month timeframe
- Expenses directly related to AmeriCorps VISTA members
- Feasibility studies without tangible outcomes within the 12-month timeframe
- Research projects or school-related internships
- Routine city, county, or township planning or zoning
Applicants will need to identify and report on the following measures related to economic development projects:
Mandatory Impact Measures: (all applicants must measure and report)
- Identify number of entrepreneurs/businesses that have been impacted by your project
- Identify collaborations and how they have impacted leveraged resources
- Additional Impact Measures: (applicants choose at least one to measure and report)
- Identify number of jobs created and/or retained
- Identify new enterprise created
- Identify new product(s) developed
- Increase funding sources or leveraged funding
- Increase business knowledge by entrepreneur(s)
SMIF will give priority consideration to applications which best demonstrate:
- Measurable results—projects that can show quantitative results in SMIF focus areas
- Asset-based approaches—projects that maximize the strengths, talents, and resources of the local community
- Collaboration/partnership—projects that work with other organizations in unique and effective ways
- Sustainability of local or other funding streams—projects that have solid plans for continuation outside of SMIF funding
- Leveraged funding—projects that access all available resources and maximize SMIF’s investment
- Effectiveness—projects that effectively address an identified need and/or opportunity
- Impact—projects that demonstrate an overall impact within SMIF’s region
- Completed application
- SMIF Project Budget Worksheet
- Audited financials or filed tax forms if unaudited
- IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (if nonprofit organization)
Contact Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at 507-214-7040 or firstname.lastname@example.org