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Learn how funding from the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is empowering nonprofits and businesses to serve their communities.

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, in partnership with DEED, has allocated $7 million in state funding to 42 Saint Paul nonprofits and businesses through the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

The program sought to address the challenges of the social uprising following the murder of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic faced by Minnesota small businesses and nonprofits. Grantees were located in the Snelling-University-Rice Cultural District, the East Side community and along West Seventh Street.

“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,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Foundation.

Project Highlights

We prioritized projects led by and serving Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, new Americans, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities, veterans, low-income communities or other communities that have been historically under- and dis-invested in by traditional funding. 100% of projects met this criteria.

Wildflyer Coffee

Thanks to the East Metro Main Street grant, Wildflyer can now employ 50-60 youth, double their previous size, through their 4-month training program that utilizes a cohort training method. The grant has also grown their sustainability. Currently, earned income from coffee sales are 60% of revenue. They hope to grow business by working with a supply chain that works with young people all the way from the origin of the bean onwards and invest in community outreach at the farms where they source their coffee.

Lala Wildflyer Coffee

We can now serve 50-60 youth instead of 20-30. The grant doubled our impact.

Carley Kammerer, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Udo's African Food Store

Udo’s African Food Store is growing and moving to a new location, thanks to the substantial support of East Metro Main Street. This funding has been instrumental in making their expansion possible, ensuring not only an expanded store area but also an additional restaurant space.

We are not only going to be expanding our grocery store - we are actually going to be cooking the product we are selling!

Michael Udo, Owner

Keystone Community Services

After almost five years of planning, fundraising, construction and dreaming, Keystone Community Services has opened their new Keystone Community Food Center. The new building features a large food market to give participants an efficient and dignified shopping experience, a warehouse to increase capacity, a lobby and Community Room for gathering and expanded programming, a three-bay garage, and space to expand capacity and engage volunteers who keep Keystone running.

Keystone Community Services

Our participants love the new center, and we’re so proud to have this beautiful space to expand programs to meet the rising need.

Adero Riser Cobb, President & CEO

La Palma Supermercado

La Palma Supermercado, known for its authentic Latin foods, now has a new attached bakery and upgraded kitchen thanks to the East Metro Main Street funding, providing enhanced culinary offerings and expanded amenities for its patrons.

We have a variety for all the [South American ethnicities]. I think that’s the most important [way] we impact on the community. They come here, they come home, they feel like a family.

Luis Gutierrez, Owner

We are proud to celebrate the success of this community-led grantmaking program and the contributions of our many partners through our impact report.

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