Main Street Grant

Downtown Northfield storefronts of Sketchy Artist, Tandem Bagel and rest of street

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) was awarded a Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant of $2.34 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development to serve commercial corridors in their service region, with at least $1 million being allocated to Northfield. Eligible applicants can apply for grant funding from SMIF.

Read more about the grant and apply on SMIF's website


Eligible projects

This is a state-funded initiative through the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) intended to provide grants for capital improvement projects in commercial corridors across the state. Grants will be used to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and other challenges that have arisen since March 15, 2020.

Eligible projects include:

  • Development
  • Redevelopment
  • Demolition
  • Site preparation
  • Predesign
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Repair
  • Renovation of real property or capital improvements

Examples of eligible projects

  • New construction
  • Storefront improvements such as signage
  • Interior or exterior upgrades
  • Renovation
  • Landscaping

Ineligible projects

Eligible project do not include:

  • Purchase of real estate
  • Business operations
  • Business operating expenses

Applicant eligibility and selection criteria

Business and non-profit entities are eligible applicants.

Priority will be given to business owners or developers from underserved populations including Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) individuals.

Projects will be evaluated based on:

  • Projected economic impact through job creation, job retention, and projected tax base increase
  • Feasibility
  • Readiness
  • Other positive impacts to the community such as accessibility upgrades, providing access to culturally appropriate spaces, local suppliers, etc.

See the entire list of FAQs

Preguntas más frecuentes  (Español)

Eligible properties

Properties must be in the designated commercial corridor. In Northfield, the corridor is the C-1 Downtown Zoning District and all of the H-O Historic Downtown Zoning District. Eligible properties are highlighted on the map.

SMIF Main Street Grant Opens in new window

Awarded grants to properties within the historic district will need to complete the appropriate review process through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Heritage Preservation Commission.

Grant amounts

The minimum grant amount is $3,000 and the maximum is $750,000. 

Grant funding can cover up to 30% of a project's cost. If a project is using state or federal funding for the match, then nonstate/nonfederal funds must be at 200% of the state's portion of the grant.

Funding requirements

Matching funds

Projects must have secured commitments for all required matching funds and all required development approvals before a leveraged grant may be distributed.

For assistance with securing financing, please contact the City's Economic Development department.

Prevailing wages

All recipients receiving more than $200,000 in grants, must follow the prevailing wage requirements under Minnesota Statutes 177.41 through 177.44.

For more information on prevailing wage requirements, please see the Department of Labor and Industry website.


SMIF will be reviewing applications and awarding grants in two rounds.

  • First round: application deadline is January 31, 2023.
  • Second round: application will reopen in March 2023.

Matching funds must be secured before grant decisions are made.

All grant award decisions will be made by November 2023.

Projects must be completed by December 2026.


  1. Review the eligibility of projects and read the entire grant FAQs
    • If you have questions on the eligibility of your project, please contact us for assistance.
  2. Complete the application through the SMIF website

Help with applying

If you need assistance filling out the application in another language or have questions about the application interface, contact Brian Conzemius with SMIF.

 Email Brian Conzemius

Contact us

If you have questions on the program, contact Economic Development Associate Anna Watson.

If your property is within the Historic District, contact Assistant City Planner Revee Needham.

Program supporter


This program is supported, in part, by the State of Minnesota through a grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development


Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF)

Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant