Promise Act Grants for businesses now available

Eligible small businesses and nonprofits may receive up to $50,000

The Northland Foundation has rolled out the Promise Act Grant Program offering $1.1 million for grants to eligible northeast Minnesota small businesses and some nonprofits. Funding and eligibility guidelines were established in law during the 2023 Minnesota legislative session. These are competitive grants; not all who apply may receive an award.

Grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will be awarded to applicants in communities 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 program is aimed at currently operating businesses with annual gross revenues of $10,000 to $750,000 as documented in their 2021 and 2022 tax returns. Depending on gross revenues, successful applicants may receive $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000.

Applications are being taken through 5 p.m. on May 21, 2024, from businesses whose primary location is in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, or St. Louis counties or the Tribal nations of Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake (District I), and Mille Lacs (District II). Businesses headquartered elsewhere should contact the Minnesota Initiative Foundation in their region.


  • The Northland Small Business Development Center is providing no-cost technical assistance to those seeking help to apply. Find virtual and in-person SBDC office hours, a helpful video, and FAQs here:
  • If you have questions, please contact Michelle Ufford, Northland Foundation’s Director of Grantmaking.