The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Awards $7 Million in Main Street Economic Revitalization Grants to Businesses and Nonprofits in Saint Paul

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 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. The program was also supported by funding from the Bush Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Mardag Foundation, the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and many other community and financial institutions. Collectivity, a cooperative social impact consulting group, served as project managers.

“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 and CEO of the Foundation. “These grants are an investment in community vitality – and, more importantly, in the healing of St. 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:

  1. African Economic Development Solutions (in support of Little Africa Plaza)
  2. ARS Partnership, LLP
  3. Black Hart of Saint Paul
  4. Blendz Barbershop Minnesota, LLC
  5. Brick by Brick MN, LLC
  6. Checkerboard Pizza
  7. Cook St. Paul, LLC (in support of Juche)
  8. Dar's Double Scoop
  9. Family Foods Market, LLC
  10. Far East Bar & Restaurant
  11. Hmong American Partnership
  12. Hung Tu, Inc. (in support of Peking Garden Chinese Restaurant)
  13. Indigenous Roots
  14. It's a Wrap Hair Studio
  15. Junior Achievement North
  16. Keystone Community Services (in support of the Keystone Community Food Center)
  17. La Palma Market
  18. Latino Economic Development Center (in support of Plaza del Sol)
  19. Listening House of St. Paul
  20. Model Cities of St. Paul
  21. Mu La Ya Phan Grocery
  22. Nanny's Jamaican Kitchen
  23. Neighborhood Development Center
  24. Rhodes Food, LLC
  25. Rolu, LLC (in support of Mi Linda Tierra)
  26. Samson Upholstery, LLC
  27. Sir Cerresso Fort Boxing and Fitness
  28. Slice Pizza, LLC
  29. Tee Pwo Market, LLC
  30. That Property Place, LLC
  31. The Sanneh Foundation
  32. Udo's African Food
  33. Ultimate Look, LLC
  34. V & C Tasty, Inc. (in support of Little Szechuan)
  35. V & I Best Steakhouse
  36. Vang Property
  37. Victoria Theater Arts Center
  38. Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota
  39. Wilandeth, LLC
  40. Wildflyer Coffee
  41. Wyld Chyldz Hair Studio
  42. YT Eateries, LLC (in support of Swede Hollow Café)

“We are proud of the strong collaboration and commitment to community demonstrated throughout this process,” said DEED Temporary Commissioner Kevin McKinnon. “We’re partnering to support the growth of these organizations and we’re excited to see their progress and the impact in our communities.”

Grant dollars will fund a wide range of revitalization projects with budgets between $20,000 - $9 million, representing more than $53 million in capital investment. 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. It is expected that all corresponding projects be completed by December 2026. The application process is now closed.

Learn more about the East Metro Main Street grant program.

Find out more about the Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.


About the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation believes in the best of Minnesota and the power of its communities. With roots in Saint Paul and partners across the state, it is Minnesota’s largest community foundation and the partner of choice for thousands of donors, nonprofits and community organizations. The Foundation aspires to create an equitable, just and vibrant Minnesota where all communities and people thrive by inspiring generosity, advocating for equity, and investing in community-led solutions.

About DEED

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.

Media Contact:
Abigail Greenheck

Last Edited: June 22, 2023