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Pine River businesses receive $203K in grants

Pine River was one of four communities to receive the main street improvement grants

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PineandLakes.com file photo (Jan. 2020)
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LITTLE FALLS — Thirteen hometown projects that will bring nearly $3.9 million in main street improvements have been approved by the Initiative Foundation during the first round of Minnesota Main Street Revitalization grant funding.

Communities benefiting from these grants include Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls and Pine River.

The funding is supported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which allocated $4.5 million to the Initiative Foundation for Central Minnesota economic development opportunities.

The Minnesota Main Street Revitalization Program provides for 30% matching grants and guaranteed loans for economic and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have or secure the remaining 70% of funding.

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Six communities met the criteria and deadlines to receive funding from the program. The Initiative Foundation worked with Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud to identify corridors that experienced COVID-19 impacts — from travel and tourism businesses to site improvement to upgrading commercial property vacancies.

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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.

The following Pine River Main Street projects submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation:

Funds from COVID grants being used to support business needs.

  • Associates in Eyecare, 424 Barclay Ave.: A $3,300 grant for interior renovations and a bathroom remodel. Total project cost: $11,000. 
  • Bonham Construction and Maintenance Services, Inc., 173 W. Barclay Ave.: A $180,000 grant for the renovation of a former ALCO building to become the site of a Tractor Supply Company business. Total project cost: $600,000.
  • Britton Properties, LLC, 415 Barclay Ave.: A $5,000 grant to repave and improve slope of an upper parking lot. This building is leased by Central Minnesota Dermatology. Total project cost: $23,595.
  • LOML Properties, LLC, 209 Barclay Ave.: A $15,000 grant to renovate a commercial building. Total project cost: $50,000.
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