We are working hard to support our southwest Minnesota businesses and know there is a lot of information being shared about state and federal funds. Please note that Southwest Initiative Foundation is NOT a Paycheck Protection Program lender.
- If you have questions about the programs we are offering or what your business may qualify for please email Selina Berning, Entrepreneurship Finance Specialist.
- If you have questions about your Emergency Child Care Grant, please email Jodi Maertens, Youth and Family Officer, or call her at (320) 583-4775. (Please note this program is no longer accepting applications.)
Watch out for fraudulent activity! Please be cautious when opening emails, files and sharing any personal information online.
- If you receive a message from one of our Southwest Initiative Foundation staff that you’re not expecting, proceed with caution.
- If you are working with a member of our staff and receive a suspicious message, do not open it and delete it immediately. Our staff will include their contact information and signature line in their correspondence to you. If you’re unsure about a message, contact our staff before opening attachments, sharing personal information or forwarding/responding the message.
As you seek assistance for your business or employees, please be sure to confirm you are accessing a credible source or contact. We are aware that at least one business was contacted by a firm using our name that does not represent us. Southwest Initiative Foundation is NOT working with any private consulting firms or other businesses to solicit customers, submit applications, or underwrite loans on behalf of Southwest Initiative Foundation. If any of your businesses get a call or email from a third party saying they are working with Southwest Initiative Foundation for a disaster finance program, they should hang up or delete the email, and not share any information. Then please contact us to report the incident.
Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants
The Department of Human Services, Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and Child Care Aware of Minnesota are working together to distribute funds appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature. The first round of Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants totaling $9.8 million were awarded on April 20. Applications for the second round are currently being accepted from Tuesday, May 5 through Tuesday, May 12 at 5:00 p.m. Find details at Child Care Aware. Whether or not a child care program received a grant in Round One, they still need to complete a new application for Round Two.
COVID-19 Business Preparedness Plan Templates
Business preparedness plans will help businesses re-open while keeping employees and customers safe. Find downloadable business preparedness plan templates and other resources from the Minnesota Dept. of Labor.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Minnesota and the SBA to contain the economic impact of Coronavirus, the state’s small businesses are now eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and can apply for a loan online SBA.gov/disaster.
- This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
- The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.
- These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.
- Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions
Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program
Southwest Initiative Foundation is a Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program certified lender.
Following Executive Order 20-15, DEED has established a loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected and whose industry is named in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 following the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are a vital part of Minnesota’s economy and this program will provide a source of working capital to help businesses sustain operations during this challenging time.
Find the application materials on DEED’s website. Nonprofits are not eligible for this program.
Loan Training for COVID-19 Related Economic Disruptions
Join a webinar to learn more about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, including program eligibility, use of proceeds, terms, filing requirements, additional small business resources. The SBA’s Minnesota District Office will be hosting these twice a day until demand is met. After registering you will receive the Skype webinar log in information.
Visit www.sba.gov/mn for webinar dates and information on other resources available to help small businesses during this challenging time.
Info from SBA, Partners and Sister Agencies
Southwest Initiative Foundation continues to share additional resources as they become available. This is not an all-inclusive list, and we will add resources as they become available.
Southwest Initiative Foundation
- Southwest Initiative Foundation is offering deferments for all current business loan clients. If you have questions about your SWIF loan, please connect with our team member you typically work with. You can also reach out to our Entrepreneurship Finance Specialist Selina Berning at (320) 583-0162
Local Partner Info
- SBA Resource Partners are ready to help with no-cost, one-on-one business counseling regarding COVID-19.
- Entrepreneur Fund has COVID-19 Updates & Resources and offering 30-minute consult with a Lender or Advisor by email or phone.
- WomenVenture is open, ready to help and has created a COVID 19 Update Hub with details.
- Minnesota DEED has created a Covid 19 webpage with Minnesota specific information to help small businesses.
- Minnesota Unemployment Insurance has COVID-19 information for self-employed people and independent contractors.
- WBDC/WBENC Covid 19 resources for Women Owned Businesses
Federal Program Info
- For information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or https://www.usa.gov/espanol/coronavirus (en Español).
- The IRS has established a web page to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
- The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus, including use of Family Medical Leave
- New guidance outlines flexibility states have in administering their unemployment insurance programs to help Americans affected by coronavirus.