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DEED Announces Cultural Mall Operator Grant Awards

Grants of up to $250K will go to 12 mall operators


August 6, 2020

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced recipients of the $2.5 million Minnesota Cultural Mall Operator Grants program, which was part of the $62.5 million Small Business Relief Grants package that passed with bipartisan support in the Minnesota Legislature during the 2020 first Special Session and was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz. Grants ranging from $110,000 to $250,000 will be awarded to 12 cultural mall operators whose facilities have a combined total of over 1,150 tenants.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created undue hardships for small business owners,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants will provide much needed help to many of Minnesota’s cultural malls, which are economic, cultural and civic cornerstones of their communities.”

Awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations who verify the eligibility of grantees and tenants to receive these funds. Under terms of the program, funds must be used by to make subgrants to existing tenants – with at least 50% used to forgive their rent. To receive benefits through the cultural mall operator grant, a tenant subgrantee must meet the same eligibility requirements as applicants for the Small Business Relief Grants Program.

Owners of more than one cultural mall facility/operation are eligible to receive up to $250,000 per separate cultural mall facility/operation. A single cultural mall facility cannot receive more than the maximum award of $250,000.

To qualify, an applicant must:

• Be an operator of a privately owned, permanent indoor retail space and food market located in Minnesota.

• Be a facility that leases space to 25 or more tenants.

• Be a facility in which 50% or more of the tenants have fewer than 20 employees.

• Be a facility in which 50% or more of tenant businesses are majority owned by one or more individuals who identify as one or more of the following racial or ethnic categories: Black, African American, Asian or Pacific Islanders, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, or other racial or ethnic minority.

Below are recipients of grants through the Cultural Mall Operators Grant Program and the award amounts:

24 Mall LLC/Village Market, Minneapolis: $250,000

Al Karama Mall, Minneapolis: $187,500

Global Center, LLC, St. Cloud: $110,000

Hmong Village Shopping Center, St. Paul: $250,000

Hmongtown Market Place, St. Paul: $250,000

JigJiga Business Center/Plaza Verde, Minneapolis: $117,500

Karmel Mall, Minneapolis: $250,000

Madina Management Group, Minneapolis: $177,500

Mercado Central, Minneapolis, $250,000

Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis, $250,000

Plaza Mexico, Minneapolis, $250,000

Riverside Mall Inc., Minneapolis, $157,500

Grant administrators will work with cultural mall operator grantees and any tenants who may have received a Small Business Relief Grant to ensure there is no duplication of awards.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


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