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The funding, from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, supports businesses and nonprofits that endured near insurmountable challenges the past two years after facing the pandemic, civil unrest and other obstacles.

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation) is proud to announce the 42 nonprofit organizations and businesses awarded grants through the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

As of May 15, 2023, a total of $7 million in state funding has been awarded to projects in the Snelling-University-Rice Cultural District, the East Side community and along West Seventh Street. An additional $2.15 million was raised and distributed to further support applicants to meet program matching fund requirements and complete projects.

“The vitality of our East Metro community is important to the overall well-being of the Twin Cities and state of Minnesota,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Foundation.

“These grants are an investment in community vitality – and, more importantly, in the healing of Saint Paul’s business corridors, the livelihood and dreams of its residents, and in a more vibrant future for its businesses and nonprofits. We believe these businesses and organizations will continue to strengthen community connectedness, expand resources and opportunities, and we know that their presence represents an enduring faith in the future of these neighborhoods.”

The East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program awarded grants to the following organizations:

African Economic Development Solutions (in support of Little Africa Plaza)

ARS Partnership, LLP

Black Hart of Saint Paul

Blendz Barbershop Minnesota, LLC

Brick by Brick MN, LLC

Checkerboard Pizza

Cook St. Paul, LLC (in support of Juche)

Dar's Double Scoop

Family Foods Market, LLC

Far East Bar & Restaurant

Hmong American Partnership

Hung Tu, Inc. (in support of Peking Garden Chinese Restaurant)

Indigenous Roots

It's a Wrap Hair Studio

Junior Achievement North

Keystone Community Services (in support of the Keystone Community Food Center)

La Palma Market

Latino Economic Development Center (in support of Plaza del Sol)

Listening House of St. Paul

Model Cities of St. Paul

Mu La Ya Phan Grocery

Nanny's Jamaican Kitchen

Neighborhood Development Center

Rhodes Food, LLC

Rolu, LLC (in support of Mi Linda Tierra)

Samson Upholstery, LLC

Sir Cerresso Fort Boxing and Fitness

Slice Pizza, LLC

Tee Pwo Market, LLC

That Property Place, LLC

The Sanneh Foundation

Udo's African Food

Ultimate Look, LLC

V & C Tasty, Inc. (in support of Little Szechuan)

V & I Best Steakhouse

Vang Property

Victoria Theater Arts Center

Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota

Wilandeth, LLC

Wildflyer Coffee

Wyld Chyldz Hair Studio

YT Eateries, LLC (in support of Swede Hollow Café)

These grants are an investment in community vitality – and, more importantly, in the healing of Saint Paul’s business corridors.

President & CEO Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D.

Thank You to Our Partners

The Foundation worked in partnership with the Asian Economic Development Association, East Side Neighborhood Development Company, NEOO Partners, Inc., Propel Nonprofits and the City of Saint Paul to provide business owners and nonprofits with technical assistance for projects throughout the application and award process. Collectivity, a cooperative social impact consulting group, served as project managers. 

The program was also supported by funding from:

  • Bush Foundation
  • F. R. Bigelow Foundation
  • Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Mardag Foundation
  • Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Many other community and financial institutions

Grant dollars will fund a wide range of revitalization projects. 100% of the funded projects serve Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, new Americans, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQI communities, low-income communities or other communities that have been historically under- and dis-invested by traditional funding. More than 85% of the projects are owned or led by people of color. $3.7 million in grants went to nonprofits and $3.3 million to businesses, with $2.1 million specifically directed to small businesses.

Grant distribution began in December 2022, and all awarded grants will be paid by June 2025.

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