The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) will receive $3.12 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), with a "prioritization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)."
The grant dollars--part of DEED's newly created Main Street Economic Revitalization Program--will be used to help central business districts rebuild and reposition themselves in the face of a substantially changing downtown economy.
Rochester was one of eight communities receiving funding, with a total investment of approximately $40 million being invested across the state.
“Minnesota’s main streets are key drivers of growth, and so many of them have suffered in the last 18 months,“ said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants and loans will create jobs, and they’ll help spark investment in key commercial corridors across the state.”
“Following the initial shock of the pandemic, Rochester’s downtown business community responded with innovation, creativity, and determination. This grant program is yet another tool to support Rochester’s recovery,” said Patrick Seeb, Executive Director of Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency. “Think of this as an economic booster shot.”
Rochester’s program will provide capital investment for downtown businesses and property owners who do not have sufficient capital to open, adjust or expand operations. Formal grant criteria will be established, including the prioritization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) participation. DMC will serve as the administrator of the grant.
“We believe deeply that Minnesota must fully recognize, mobilize, and support every business in the region if we are to realize a vital and sustainable economy. Part of our commitment is to the development and stabilization of minority businesses, which build and diversify our economic capacity,” said Dee Sabol, the Executive Director of the Diversity Council.
Before the pandemic, Rochester was already taking steps to diversify and improve the resiliency of its central business district. The program will provide distinct benefits to diverse populations in Rochester.
City Administrator Alison Zelms said, “Rochester has a strong history of organizational partnerships, which have collectively worked together to best serve the community. This grant will support our work to assist our local businesses in their recovery from COVID-19 impacts. We know that we can move forward together in a way that will make Rochester even stronger and more resilient in the future.”