Second Round of the Main Street Revitalization Program in Long Prairie

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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The Initiative Foundation is an organization that serves Central Minnesota, including 14 counties and two sovereign tribal nations, offering business loans, nonprofit grants, leadership training, and donor services through its Partner Funds programs. The Foundation aims to improve the quality of life and build stronger communities in the region. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation has invested multiple millions in the area through targeted grants and business financing investments.

In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Initiative Foundation has approved 12 hometown projects that will bring over $10.2 million in main street improvements to Little Falls, Long Prairie, and St. Cloud as part of the Minnesota Main Street Revitalization program. The funding provides 30% matching grants and guaranteed loans for economic and redevelopment needs since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have or secure the remaining 70% of funding.

The Initiative Foundation worked with several towns and cities to identify corridors that experienced COVID-19 impacts, from travel and tourism businesses to site improvement to upgrading commercial property vacancies. The funding can be used for demolition and site preparation, engineering and design, repair, renovation, and construction. All projects must be completed within a 36-month window that will close in July 2025.

Awardees of the First Round of the Grant in Long Prairie

Long Prairie received eight grants to improve its downtown area. Here is a list of awardees:
Bargain Barn, 151 Central Ave., a retail store: replacing the exterior and roof.
Chavez Event Center - 220 1st Ave S.:Flooring in the center and front landscaping.
Christie House Museum, 703 3rd Ave. NE: Interior repairs. 
Douglas Schmidt and Associates, 11 Central Ave., an American Family Insurance agency:  resurfacing the parking lot.
Douglas Schmidt's Apartment Triplex, 121 Second St. S: installing doors and shutters; painting the exterior.

Enterprise-CP, LLC, 100, Banta Road: replacing the north portion of the roof to enhance worker safety.
Jose Garcia, Future Commercial Space, 114 Central Ave.: Repairs and renovation of a former Minnesota Power building. 
Lennes LP, LLC, 110 Lake St. S., a coffee shop and boutique: exterior and interior remodel, and parking lot repair. 
Long Prairie Dairy Queen, 710 Commerce Rd.: Expansion and remodeling. 
Long Prairie Plumbing and Heating, 120 Lake St. S.: Parking lot improvements. 
Mi Pueblito Market, Inc., 120 Central Ave.: Repairs and renovations. 
Nostalgic Long Prairie Drive-in 24257 Riverside Drive: interior and exterior repairs, restoration, and painting.
Planting Roots, LLC, 220 Lake St. S., Suite 103., a retail store:  purchasing a new outdoor sign for Highway 71. 
Wild Men Properties, LLC 221 Lake St., Suite 104: demolishing a building to prepare for a future commercial site. 

Timeline and criteria for grant applications for the Second round in Long Prairie

From the approximate amount of $493,000 set aside for Long Prairie, $273,000 remains after the first round of grant applications for  $220,000 was disbursed. The Long Prairie Economic Development Authority is now taking new applications for disbursing these funds too.

The criteria for evaluating eligible projects:

  • Increase in the tax base
  • Increase and support business ownership by minorities, women, veterans, or other protected
  • class of entrepreneurs
  • Increase in housing capacity or childcare slots
  • Targeted support for small businesses
  • Redevelopment of anchor institutions
  • Maximize leverage (private investment) in the designated corridor
  • Increase in jobs.

The final application is due by May 31, 2023. Funds will be awarded within 6 months, if not sooner.

Applicants are requested to keep a running list of questions and feel free to contact Rick Utech at (320) 732-2128 or and Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst at (320) 533- 3112 or

For Spanish contact: 

Elizabeth Quillo at (320) 339-1131 & Johanna Diaz Torres (787) 902-5785

The Initiative Foundation's efforts demonstrate its commitment to revitalizing and enhancing communities in Central Minnesota. By providing financial support for economic and redevelopment needs, the Initiative Foundation is helping businesses recover from the pandemic's impacts and thrive in the long term. As more projects receive funding, the region can look forward to a brighter future with improved infrastructure, businesses, and quality of life.

Category: News

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