- Hannah Kamath
A look at PPNA’s efforts for equitable development: Main Street Revitalization Program
Through PPNA’s involvement in initiatives at the north and south end of our neighborhood, we are working to ensure that state resources are distributed equitably.
Main Street Revitalization Program
If you have followed PPNA’s work with 38th Street United, you’ve probably heard about the Main Street Revitalization Program, a program of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). For now, we’ll just call it “Main Street Program.”
Through the Main Street Program, the Minneapolis Foundation - along with LISC Twin Cities and Propel Nonprofits - received $18 million to distribute to community-based projects along three cultural corridors in Minneapolis: Lake Street, 38th Street, and West Broadway Avenue.
Main Street Program funds are designed to support business recovery and economic development initiatives following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uprising that followed the murder of Mr. George “Perry” Floyd, Jr. in May 2020. Businesses, nonprofits, and property owners along the three cultural corridors are eligible to receive financing. Learn more and apply for funding through the Main Street Program.
In order to ensure that program funds benefit community-based initiatives, with a priority for BIPOC
businesses and organizations, the Minneapolis Foundation partnered with local organizations to develop community-based selection processes. Each of the three cultural corridors - Lake Street, 38th Street, and West Broadway - created a review panel of community members and businesses from the corridor. The review panels will evaluate and score applications from their respective areas before making a final recommendation for funding.
At PPNA, we believe community voices should shape development. (Consider ordering PPNA’s new swag with that same message!) Through the Main Street review panels, community voices can shape development by directing how resources are distributed. PPNA plays an ongoing role in this work at both the north and south end of our neighborhood through the Lake Street Leadership Recovery Coalition and 38th Street United, respectively. If you are a Powderhorn Park nonprofit, business, or property owner looking for recovery or economic development resources, apply for the Main Street program today! If you have any questions, you can email email@example.com.
While state resources are essential for economic recovery, we believe there are critical improvements that need to be made. One barrier to the Main Street funds is that applicants are expected to commit a 2:1 match, meaning that for every single dollar they get from the Main Street Program, they need to secure $2 elsewhere. The kicker? The $2 can’t be funded through a state or federal program. Barriers like this are especially steep for BIPOC businesses and independent developers, who often lack access to the kind of capital that the match requires.
With our partners in the Lake Street Leadership Recovery Coalition and the Business Resource Collective (BRC), PPNA advocates for additional state resources for small, BIPOC businesses, who are often underserved by existing programs. In addition to advocating for the elimination of the Main Street 2:1 match in future rounds of funding, PPNA and our partners also asked for programs that would provide technical assistance, small loans, and property acquisition funding that target micro and small, BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs.
Learn more about the BRC’s advocacy for equitable investments in small, BIPOC businesses.