Southwest Initiative Foundation launches PROMISE Act Grants for small businesses

Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) has announced $1.2 million in grants for small businesses in southwest Minnesota through the PROMISE Act Grant Program.

The PROMISE Act is funded by a one-time allocation from the State of Minnesota Legislature in partnership with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). A series of statewide partner organizations are administering the program, including SWIF. Grants up to $50,000 will be awarded to selected eligible businesses to be used toward working capital to support payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, equipment and other similar expenses that occur in the regular course of business.

The PROMISE Act Grant program aims to drive economic recovery to small businesses experiencing a lack of access to capital, loss of population or aging population, or lack of regional economic diversification.

The PROMISE Act Grant program is open to small businesses with a primary business operating within the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift or Yellow Medicine or Pezihutazizi Oyate (Upper Sioux Community) or Cansayapi Oyate (Lower Sioux Indian Community). Businesses operating outside of the SWIF 18-county region are encouraged to review the DEED website at to identify their local partner organizations accepting applications for the program.

This is a competitive program and not all applicants will be awarded a grant. For-profit businesses and nonprofits operating like a business may be eligible to receive a grant if they had $750,000 or less in gross revenue based on 2021 and 2022 taxes and a minimum of $10,000 revenue in 2022. Applications will be prioritized for those that either did not receive pandemic relief grants from the state or received $10,000 or less in the following state programs: Small Business Loan Guarantee, Small Business Relief Grants, Main Street COVID-19 Relief Grants or Business Relief Payments; or experienced a 10 percent or greater decrease in revenue. Grant award amounts are based on the business’ 2022 tax year gross revenue, with grant amounts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

“SWIF is proud to partner with DEED to offer this grant opportunity in our region,” said SWIF Economic Development Manager Briana Mumme. “We understand not all small businesses were eligible to receive COVID-19 relief funding, and we are striving to reach those businesses through this program.”

Confidential and no-cost technical assistance is available for organizations that would like help with the application process through the Southwest Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Translation services are also available to applicants as outlined within the program guidelines.

Applications for the PROMISE Act Grant program opened May 20, 2024, and will close at 4 p.m. June 24, 2024. Those interested in applying are encouraged to review the program details at or by contacting Briana at [email protected] or (320) 583-5025.