Destination Medical Center launches $3 million grant program for local businesses

DMC is awarding grants to local businesses.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 4:40 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester’s Destination Medical Center is awarding $3 million to local businesses looking to improve and add on to their operation.

The Main Street Grant program is funded by Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Any business within the DMC district can apply which is anywhere downtown and two miles west of St. Mary’s on 2nd Street.

“We have not, until now, been a grant-making organization, so we’re really building this application process up from the beginning,” DMC director of business development Chris Schad said.

The program will award no-cost grants to business owners looking to improve parts of their facilities or add on new assets. The grant awards can cover up to 30 percent of the project costs.

“If you have a $100,000 project, we can support, through the application process, we can support $30,000,” Schad said.

Longtime downtown business Lasker Jewelers isn’t sure if they will apply for the grant, but staff members are glad they have the option to apply.

“It’s really nice to know that you have the backing of the city. With COVID and the construction and everything downtown, it was harder to get that foot traffic down here. Parking was not the easiest. Having that back up and having people here for you is really nice,” Lasker Jewelers sales manager Brandon English said.

Downtown businesses agree any investment in a current business or the addition of new businesses will benefit the community as a whole.

“Having more options available for our very diverse client base down here a lot of clothing stores could be awesome to have downtown again just to get everybody out and walking about would be cool,” English said.

While the DMC can award up to $250,000 to an individual business, DMC staff says they would prefer to spread out the $3 million among several businesses, specifically businesses that represent minority communities.

“We can envision maybe a couple of really big project but our goal is a lot of smaller projects,” Schad said.

The DMC plans to review the applications throughout the next few weeks and to reach out to the businesses who will receive the funds in one month. The group plans to use half of the funds for the remainder of the year and to carry over the second half into 2023.

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