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Initiative Quarterly

Partnership Delivers $675,000 to Regional Small Businesses

October 6, 2022

LITTLE FALLS, MN—The Initiative Foundation announced today the award of $675,000 to 86 of Central Minnesota’s smallest businesses impacted by the pandemic. The special grant program, supported by the Otto Bremer Trust, focused on businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, and those located in smaller communities and rural areas.
“These grants support businesses and owners who navigated severe disruptions and challenges over the past two years, and in many cases weren’t eligible for or able to access other forms of relief,” said Brian Voerding, Initiative Foundation vice president for inclusive entrepreneurship. “We’re grateful these businesses are able to continue meeting community needs and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs across our region.”
Businesses who demonstrated that they had been affected by closure orders, loss of revenue or increased costs received between $5,000 and $10,000 based on the number of people employed.
“We appreciate that the Otto Bremer Trust saw the need to support small businesses in Greater Minnesota, and we were honored to distribute the funds,” Voerding said. “We were pleased by the vast reach of this grant program and the diversity in types of businesses receiving grants.”
Grants were awarded in every county in the 14-county region served by the Initiative Foundation. 
The microenterprise grants were part of a $2 million award from the Otto Bremer Trust. This summer, more than $1 million of the Otto Bremer Trust funding was distributed to 15 nonprofits as part of a special Transformative Funding for Nonprofits program. The nonprofits received awards ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 to transform the support they provide to underserved communities in Central Minnesota. Learn more ...

Visit the Initiative Foundation’s COVID-19 page to learn more about relief and response efforts in the region.

About the Initiative Foundation
The Initiative Foundation supports a 14-county service area that includes Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties and the sovereign tribal nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe. Based in Little Falls, the Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities in Central Minnesota by offering business loans, nonprofit grants, leadership training and donor services through its Partner Funds programs. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds have invested multiple millions in the region through targeted grants and business financing investments.

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