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Brainerd revitalization grant applications due Sept. 5

Grants are available for projects related to house, landscaping and green space, small business support or child care in Brainerd's River to Rail corridor.

Downtown Brainerd
Downtown Brainerd in June 2021.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch file photo
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BRAINERD — Those interested in projects related to housing, landscaping and green space, small business support or child care in Brainerd have until Sept. 5 to apply for a grant that could help.

The Main Street Revitalization Program is a grant program through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, assisting cities with economic development projects. The program doled out $4.5 million to the Initiative Foundation for projects in the lakes area, and $765,000 of that was allocated to Brainerd.

Projects eligible for the grant must take place in the River to Rails corridor, which includes the area between the Mississippi River and the Northern Pacific Center, and from Washington to Oak streets.

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Grant awards can cover up to 30% of a project’s cost, while the remaining 70% must be secured through other sources by the applicant.

The Brainerd City Council allocated $80,000 of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act money to be used as matching funds for the grant, while the Housing and Redevelopment Authority kicked in another $20,000 from its general fund.

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“There may be some small businesses that don’t have the cash available to come up with that match,” City Administrator Jennifer Bergman told the Economic Development Authority during a meeting in July. “They may have that money that they can make payments, but as far as the match for that 70% that’s required with the DEED Main Street Program, they may not have that cash available.”

Projects under $100,000 will be eligible for the match funds for no more than 35% of the total project cost. Priority will be given to projects under $50,000.

The EDA will make the final decision on funding requests.

Eligible projects must fall into the one of the four categories and can include work like:

  • Repair or renovation of property.
  • Building construction.
  • Landscaping and streetscaping.
  • Demolition and site preparation.
  • Project pre-design and design.
  • Engineering.
  • Non-municipal infrastructure.

All projects that receive funding must be complete by Dec. 31, 2026.
Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. Sept. 5.

Online applications are available at growbrainerdlakes.org . Applicants should be sure to download or print all application questions and supporting documents to ensure they have all the required information.

Any questions on the application process can be directed to Tyler Glynn, executive director of Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., at 218-828-0096 or tyler@growbrainerdlakes.org .

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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