Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved seven grants totaling $127,909 to support early childhood and economic development projects within southern Minnesota.
- $17,980 to Brown Nicollet Watonwan County Drug Court to provide a family education program for high risk families who struggle with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.
- $20,000 to Faribault Public Schools to provide school readiness programming for children ages 3-5 and their adult caregivers at the Cannon River Mobile Home Park.
- $9,929 to Goodhue Public Schools to enhance and improve the early literacy of four-year-olds through professional development and implementation of a comprehensive assessment tool.
- $20,000 to Saint Charles School District to hire a liaison that will focus on coordinating, supporting and enhancing early childhood programs in the community with focus on area child cares, preschools and the elementary school for under-served populations.
- $20,000 to Latino Economic Development Center to provide trainings and one-on-one technical assistance for Latino agricultural entrepreneurs located in southern Minnesota, enabling them to form small producer cooperative businesses as well as connecting them to viable markets and resources.
- $20,000 to Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation to support BizPitch's forums to prepare entrepreneurs to present their concepts; match their clients with available resources; and mentor these business start-ups.
- $20,000 to Sibley County Economic Development Commission (SEDCO)to provide a central EDA contact in Sibley County and provide access to business and entrepreneurial expertise, education and financial support through SBDC.
Since 1986, the Foundation has provided over $26 million in grants to create economic vitality throughout south central and southeastern Minnesota.
"We are pleased to support these seven asset-based approaches to current opportunities within our focus areas, and believe they will each contribute to the economic vitality of our region," says Tim Penny, President/CEO.
The application process and guidelines for the next Incentive Grant round will be announced in June; applications will be due August 30, 2015. For details on applying for a SMIF Incentive Grant visit www.smifoundation.org.