Some state money flows into north Minneapolis

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded a $200,000 grant to Minneapolis nonprofit Northside Economic Opportunity Network, a collaborative that provides guidance and other assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs in north Minneapolis. The grant is part of a commitment that Gov. Mark Dayton made in March to encourage business and job growth in a part of the Twin Cities that has struggled with issues of poverty and chronic unemployment.

DEED says the grant will allow the Northside Economic Opportunity Network to provide free services to neighborhood businesses and entrepreneurs, including counseling, business planning and marketing, access to capital, cash-flow management and start-up assistance.

The one-year initiative begins Friday, and runs through June 30, 2012. To qualify for the free assistance, people must live in one of the following neighborhoods: Harrison, Sumner-Glenwood, Near North, Willard-Hay, Jordan, Hawthorne, Cleveland, Folwell, McKinley, Victory, Weber-Camden, Shingle Creek and Lind-Bohanon.

This grant follows on the heels of another cash infusion announced last week. $430,629 in grants from donations and matching funds raised through the Minnesota Helps – North Minneapolis Recovery Fund will be awarded to 13 organizations assisting north Minneapolis residents affected by last month’s tornado.

The grants are aimed at helping local agencies meet the needs of individual neighborhood residents, provide trauma counseling and social services to children and youth affected by the tornado, connect residents with critical services and provide transportation and mental health support. A total of $636,752 has now been awarded from the North Minneapolis Recovery Fund. Previous grants, totaling $206,123, were distributed in early June for emergency relief services.

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