Southwest Initiative Foundation is helping support the individuals, families, businesses, organizations and communities in our region who are impacted. Below you’ll find links to the resources we have available and updates on our day-to-day operations.
If you have questions, please contact us. Find our team’s direct contact information here.
Small Business Assistance
Small business owners in southwest Minnesota impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can get help with these resources, including disaster loans.Find small business resources
Help for Child Care Providers
UPDATE (March 30): Due to an overwhelming response, SWIF’s Emergency Child Care Grant application is currently closed. We are working hard to support as many providers in our region as we can. For those providers who have already applied, we will notify you within the next two weeks to let you know whether or not you’ve been awarded a grant.
- Can you help? Make a gift to the COVID-19 Child Care Response and Recovery Fund
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is accepting applications for Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants. Grants are for licensed child care providers serving essential workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Child care programs eligible to apply for grants include licensed family and group family programs, licensed child care centers, and tribally licensed child care programs.Learn More About Child Care Grants
Help with Internet Access
The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that access to broadband is necessary for everyone in Minnesota. Our partners at the Blandin Foundation have a list of free and low-cost internet plans available to Minnesota families in need.See the list of internet providers
Changes to our operations
Connecting people is part of our mission; however, the health and safety of our team, partners and communities is our top priority during the COVID-19 outbreak. Together, we are being asked to do our part to limit the spread of the infection by person-to-person contact. We are hopeful that preparation and caution will reduce the impact felt by our communities.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) continues to update its guidelines for community mitigation strategies for schools, work and social settings to reduce the spread and speed of COVID-19. These guidelines will remain in place until further notice and can be found here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/action.html.
Southwest Initiative Foundation will follow these guidelines and encourages our community partners to follow them.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation meetings and events scheduled through May 1, 2020 are being cancelled, postponed or hosted virtually. Additional details will be shared for specific events. Please watch our website for ongoing updates. The Power of ONE regional banquet scheduled for April 16 is cancelled.
- Our office and conference rooms are closed to the public until further notice. Our team is communicating with groups scheduled to use our space. Staff continue to work remotely at this time.
What can you do to help?
- Make a gift to the COVID-19 Child Care Response and Recovery Fund. We’ve had an overwhelming response from child care providers in need of assistance, and your gift can help us support even more providers.
- Stay informed using information from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health and check the source of information you see for credibility and accuracy before sharing it on social media, with colleagues or your family.
- Follow federal and state guidelines for schools, work and social settings to reduce the spread and speed of COVID-19.
- Learn how to talk with children about Coronavirus Disease. Be honest and reassuring. The CDC has a resource page to help you.
- Put empathy and kindness first. Disease outbreaks can cause fear and disrupt daily lives. Think about ways you can help members of your community who are especially impacted during this time through food insecurity, lost wages and business revenue, child care and school closures and more.
- Avoid social stigma or discrimination toward people of Asian descent, people who have traveled and emergency responders or healthcare professionals. Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people.
We’re confident that southwest Minnesotans will continue to work together and care for one another during this unprecedented time!
For Coronavirus Disease 2019 information and updates, please refer to the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html