Northland Foundation Apply for Grants

Special Grants

Promise Act Grant Program - Apply through May 21, 2024

The Promise Act Grant Program offers grants from $10,000 to $50,000 to northeast Minnesota businesses.* Funding and eligibility guidelines for this competitive grant program were established in law during the 2023 Minnesota legislative session.

Awarded grants may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, equipment, and other similar expenses that occur in the regular course of business.

*Eligible nonprofit organizations may also apply, provided they earn 30% or more of revenue on an ongoing basis through non-tax-deductible sales or dues in a fee-for-service model as documented on their Form 990 and meet all other eligibility guidelines.

A second round of grants is anticipated in spring 2025; watch the Northland Foundation website and social media for updates. Applicants may only receive one grant total.

PURPOSE: Competitive grants of up to $50,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to businesses in communities that have been adversely affected by lack of access to capital, loss of population or an aging population, structural racial discrimination, civil unrest, and/or lack of regional economic diversification. The most competitive applicants have experienced economic hardship and did not receive significant COVID-19 relief funding of more than $10,000 from the State of Minnesota.

FUNDING AMOUNT: Grants are available for eligible, currently operating businesses with gross annual revenues of $10,000 to $750,000 as documented in their 2021 and 2022 tax returns or Forms 990. Grant amounts will be based on 2022 revenues. Revenues of:

ELIGIBILITY: Please carefully review the Grant Information Sheet, linked below, for details. Not all who are eligible and apply may receive a grant. If qualified applications exceed funding availability, a randomized sample may be used to select grantees.

TO APPLY: Businesses/nonprofits whose primary location is in the Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, or St. Louis, or the Tribal nations of Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake (District I), and Mille Lacs (District II) can apply through the Northland Foundation from March 26, 2024, to May 21, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Greater Minnesota businesses headquartered outside of the above geography may apply for this program through the Minnesota Initiative Foundation serving their region.

WEBINAR RECORDING, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, FAQs: Confidential and no-cost technical assistance from the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is available for organizations that would like help with the application process. Visit the Northland SBDC website at to access the following resources:

Greater St. Louis County Child Care Grants

In partnership with St. Louis County, two grant opportunities are available to help support the start-up, expansion, and stabilization of child care. To be eligible, programs must be located in Greater St. Louis County ~ that is anywhere in St. Louis County except within the city limits of Duluth, Hermantown, and Proctor.

Funding for these opportunities is available on an ongoing basis, subject to available funds. All funds must be expended by June 15, 2024.

If your child care program is located outside of the targeted area for these grant opportunities but is still within our service area, please email Taylor Holm, Program Officer, to explore other resources or grant opportunities that might fit your needs.

1. Start-up & Expansion Grants

PURPOSE: To help support the start-up or expansion of center-based or family-based child care programs located in Greater St. Louis County (anywhere in St. Louis County except within the city limits of Duluth, Hermantown, or Proctor).

FUNDING AMOUNT: Family-based programs may apply for up to $5,000. Center-based programs may apply for up to $25,000.

TO APPLY: To apply for a Start-up & Expansion Grant, you will first need to complete a short online questionnaire. If you have questions about Start-up & Expansion Grants or the Inquiry Survey, please email Taylor Holm, Program Officer.

We will be reviewing inquiries on a regular basis and will get back to you with next steps if your program qualifies for funding.

2. Sustainability Grants

PURPOSE: To help licensed family-based child care providers and child care centers that are experiencing a challenge which jeopardizes their program’s ability to maintain services. This may be due to a required repair outlined by a State or County/Tribal Child Care Licensor and/or Fire Marshal or other emergency that impacts their ability to provide child care.

FUNDING AMOUNT: Licensed family-based programs can apply for up to $5,000. Licensed center-based programs can apply for up to $10,000.

EXAMPLES OF ELIGIBLE PROJECTS: Programs may apply for funds to replace or repair materials damaged or lost due to an emergency, or to correct infractions flagged by licensing. The items you apply for must directly affect the quality and safety of your program and meet licensing requirements. All materials must be new and purchased from a retail store, not a private party.

Eligible items that are 100% for business use will be funded at 100%. Items that are shared with a household (licensed family-based program) or organization (such as a congregation) may be funded at 50% (e.g. furnace, water heater, dishwasher, etc.).

TO APPLY: (1) As a first step before applying, please carefully read the Grant Information.

(2) The Application may be completed as a Word doc that you can download and work in using Word, or as a fillable pdf which you can open and type directly into online, then download and save.

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