ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Another round of grant money is available for current or future businesses in downtown St. Cloud.

Last year the state allocated money to the Initiative Foundation for the Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant program. St. Cloud's share of the money was $1.5 million.

St. Cloud Economic Development Authority awarded eight grants this past fall after receiving a total of 28 applications.

EDA Director Cathy Mehelich says about $430,000 in grant money remains so a second application period has been opened up. She says the money can be used for new buildings, remodeling existing buildings, or demolishing buildings that aren't salvageable.

The projects that are eligible are for construction costs.  The goal is to stimulate new construction and new business activity in the downtown.

The grant can cover up to 30 percent of the total cost of the project, with the owner responsible for the other 70 percent.

The deadline to apply for the grant is March 9th.

This is not a first-come first-serve application.  We are really looking for competitive applications in this process.  We really encourage people to take time and review the primary objectives.

Businesses within the boundaries of Cooper Avenue to the west to just past Lincoln Avenue to the east, and a couple blocks north and south of St. Germain Street are able to apply.

Image courtesy of the city of St. Cloud
Image courtesy of the city of St. Cloud
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Mehelich says they hope to award the grants as soon as May and then the projects have to begin by November.

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Meanwhile, the EDA also allocated $100,000 for the St. Cloud Downtown Exterior Improvement Grant Program.  Mehelich says those grants will remain open until all of the money is spoken for.  She says so far they have awarded three grants through that program, with up to $10,000 available per business.

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