One of SMIF's newest loan clients, Chabelita's Yummy Foods and Fruits, brings more dining options to Le Sueur residents. They started out with candy and fruit salad, but a full menu of Mexican dishes is coming soon!

In 2011, SMIF President & CEO suggested that his son Marcus explore a year of service through SMIF's AmeriCorps LEAP program. Marcus was on-board and he shares his experience in a blog post for where he currently works, National Youth Leadership Council.

SMIF AmeriCorps LEAP member Sarah Fitch is currently in her second year of service at Three Rivers Community Action Preschool in Northfield. She shares her thoughts on challenges and rewards of preparing our youngest generation for kindergarten.

Kristy Baker, owner of Just Kneaded Massage in Mankato, received a loan through SMIF's Small Enterprise Loan Program. "SMIF's loan will give me ability to acquire the tools to expand on my practice."

SMIF has several new offerings to help minority and under-represented demographics including people of color, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and/or low-income populations.

SMIF's Preserving Our Heritage farmland retention program provides a win-win solution to help local communities retain the wealth generated by this land and landowners a way to ensure it stays locally-owned and tillable.

This year's report, "Tipping the Scales in Early Childhood," focuses on early childhood and features research on the importance of early childhood development, data on the status of Minnesota's youngest citizens, and programs and policies that support success in early childhood and throughout adulthood.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation's grant to Grow North MN, a social enterprise offshoot of Minnesota Cup, the state's largest business competition, has helped to create a one-stop-shop resource navigator tool for food entrepreneurs.

Jan Joannides is Executive Director of Renewing the Countryside. In this guest blog, she gives an update on the collaborative Grow a Farmer Fund, a new loan fund that will give lower-interest loans to small-scale, sustainable farmers in southern Minnesota.

F-Town Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in the historic downtown district of Faribault in Rice County. In 2014, they approached SMIF for a start-up loan. After a strong start, F-Town Brewing is hoping to triple their sales this year and are distributing statewide.

Spring Valley Area Community Foundation's Little Huskers Race drew nearly 300 children ages 2–12 in 2016 and is primarily a way for their foundation to raise awareness and give back to the community.

Members of the second PI Training Cohort had the opportunity to meet for 2 days to receive hands-on business education, network with other business owners, assess their current business situation and set goals for the future.

A day-long training aimed to increase business knowledge among Somali-owned small businesses attracted more than 40 attendees to learn from business leaders, academic instructors and services providers.

Meg Steuer is the new Economic Advancement Coordinator at SMIF. Welcome, Meg!

Eric Kyllo Speaks on being a SMIF donor and Peer Council member for Small Businesses

SMIF’s grant allows more SMART Training sessions to take place

Parenting Matters Training Sessions come back to Jostens in Owatonna after three years

SMIF's 22nd Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) coalition in New Prague gets off to a strong start

Outgoing SMIF Board Chair shares where she's from and what she loves about southern Minnesota.

Twelve southern Minnesota food growers and producers are learning from each other to strengthen their businesses.

Two months after a fire destroyed Madelia's main street, businesses are finding new homes.

SMIF Development Coordinator Alissa Blaha shares her experience from the Blandin Community Leadership Program.

Learn about SMIF's longest-tenured employee & current Vice President of Early Childhood Development

New Prague entrepreneurs open innovative local and organic food market

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