Cities that need a little assistance to expand and diversify their economies can now apply for the Main Street Initiative Partner in Planning grant program.
The MSI PiP Grant program is aimed at empowering communities to build a suitable environment for businesses to thrive.
It is also targeted at communities that still need help recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Eligible local governments or nonprofits may use the funds to draw up comprehensive or strategic plans.
Commerce Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Shawn Kessel urged such communities to apply.
“There will be dollars available for them to create those plans as long as their current comprehensive plan or economic development plan is older than five years. If they have a plan that’s not older than five years, they can apply for what we call a component plan,” Kessel said.
The component plan will allow applicants to get access to funds which they are allowed to use in a different way.
About 20 communities have benefitted from the program since it began last year. The City of Minot is one of them.
It was awarded more than $19,000 in the spring. Economic Development Director, Jonathan Rosenthal said it allowed the city to build an inventory of its downtown buildings and their conditions.
“What we have is a various blend of inventory that allows us to take a look at how we address the conditions of the buildings that we have downtown. And I think the other thing that we took a closer look at and I think will need further work is a taking a look again at accessibility issues,” said Rosenthal.
Communities can apply to any of the three levels with the possibility of receiving up to $30,000.
The program plans to disburse about $200,000 until the end of 2023.
Applications are open through January 2022.