Faribault Downtown Micro Grant Program Announced
Call for entrepreneurs and business ideas
The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Faribault Economic Development Authority is excited to announce the Downtown Micro Grant program. This new program is open to both proposed businesses and existing businesses in the Historic District. Awards will be based on merit as determined by a panel of independent judges with awards ranging from $500 to $5000. Applications will be available online or at the Chamber of Commerce office beginning today.
The Downtown Micro Grant program will be administered by the Chamber’s successful Main Street Committee. It is based on the previous Downtown Business Challenge and has been modified to provide more awards and to be easier for existing businesses to apply. A notable component of the application process is the business counseling/coaching connection each applicant receives to the Small Business Development Center and SCORE free of charge. After the applicants complete their start up or improvement plans with the counseling services, they are reviewed by the judging panel for further coaching. Awards are then given based on the merit of the final plans.
Originally referred to as a Shark Tank, the contest was first talked about 4 years ago by the Main Street’s volunteer members and Chamber of Commerce Staff. The program came to fruition as the Downtown Business Challenge and was launched by the Economic Restructuring Committee in 2017, when seven business ideas were submitted, and the winner receiving a package worth approximately $20,000. With the goal of being able to help more businesses, the model was revised into the Micro Grant Program with businesses have the chance to apply for $500 to $5000 to help them start or enhance their business in downtown Faribault.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about the unique challenges and rewards of small business ownership as well as receive assistance through the process. Nort Johnson, President/CEO of the Faribault Chamber noted “Entries will be connected with Small Business Development Center and SCORE resources to really examine and complete a business plan.”
The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism’s Main Street Committee is thrilled to offer this opportunity. Chamber President/CEO, Nort Johnson notes that, “We’re excited to see how many more business models we can help support the idea of being part of our fabulous downtown.”
The Judging Panel is comprised of local business, banking and marketing professionals. The prize package ranges from $500 to $5000 and serves as a great resource for a beginning business.
Preliminary business ideas must be submitted by May 30 to be considered. Go to the Faribault Main Street Facebook page, faribaultmainstreet.org or phone the office at 507.334.4381 for more information.
About Faribault Main Street
The Faribault Main Street Program is a community-based effort to revitalize Faribault’s Historic Business District. It is funded by the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and by the City of Faribault Economic Development Authority; however, it is open to members and non-members alike. This program is based on the National Main Street Approach that has been used in over 1,700 communities during the past 25 years. The Faribault Main Street Program is organized to unify the Central Business District, with emphasis on Central Avenue, to create an attractive destination in which businesses prosper the community benefits and residents and visitors enjoy a quality downtown experience.
Phone: (507) 334-4381