Economic Development Grants

Application | Budget Worksheet

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.

Recent Grant Awards

Grant Guidelines

  • 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

Impact Measures
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)

Priority Considerations
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

Required Documents

  • 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

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