Kids wearing masks during Covid

Resilient Communities

As the world shut down during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders reached out to the Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) to see how we could help. Our answer was simple: Tell us how. The MIFs quickly emerged as a critical partner for funneling emergency funds to businesses, child care providers and communities in Greater Minnesota. 

$104.5 M

Covid Relief

Immediate Action

Because of our long-established relationships with rural child care providers, the governor of Minnesota urged the MIFs to create a fund to provide immediate relief for providers who care for the children of emergency and essential workers in Greater Minnesota. The fund for the Emergency Child Care Grant Program was launched through a partnership with the Minnesota Council on Foundations and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation through its Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for Coronavirus. Other regional donors also participated. Statewide, the MIFs supported more than 1,500 providers with nearly $1.4 million through this program within several weeks of the March 2020 shutdown.

During the same period, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) partnered with the MIFs on several initiatives to support businesses that were struggling to stay afloat. The Small Business Emergency Loans program provided partially forgivable loans to restaurants, bars, hair salons and other businesses open to the public that were temporarily shut down. Shortly thereafter, the MIFs administered and distributed thousands of Small Business Relief Grants to Greater Minnesota businesses. In many cases, these emergency funds are what enabled businesses to continue operating through this crisis.

Northfield, Minnesota

Ongoing Efforts

The MIFs continue to be a steadfast partner in ongoing efforts for economic recovery through initiatives like the Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization program and PROMISE Act grants, both in partnership with DEED. Because of the work we do every day to provide resources and support to families, businesses, organizations and communities, the MIFs are the logical solution for supporting long-term resiliency in rural Minnesota.