Iron Street Distillery, east St. Cloud
(Photo courtesy of KNSI)

Brainerd Businesses Gain Revitalization Grants

LITTLE FALLS, MN—Ten hometown projects that will bring more than $300,000 in Brainerd main street improvements have been approved by the Initiative Foundation as part of the Minnesota Main Street Revitalization program. Since the start of the program, the Initiative Foundation has approved 37 additional projects with investments totaling more than $18 million in Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud.

The funding is supported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which allocated $4.5 million to the Initiative Foundation for Central Minnesota economic development opportunities. The Minnesota Main Street Revitalization Program provides for 30 percent matching grants and guaranteed loans for economic and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have or secure the remaining 70 percent of funding.

The Initiative Foundation worked with Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud to identify corridors that experienced COVID-19 impacts—from travel and tourism businesses to site improvement to upgrading commercial property vacancies. Funding can be used for demolition and site preparation, engineering and design, repair, renovation and construction. All projects must be completed within a 36-month window that will close in July 2025.

The most recent projects receiving funding have an estimated total investment of $300,000. These projects have submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation:


  • Lakes Chiropractic: 413 S 6th St.: $36,000 for demolition to allow for clinic expansion. Total project cost: $120,000.
  • Adapt Family Martial Arts: 217 Washington St.: $3,000 for the purchase of specialized flooring. Total project cost: $10,000.
  • David Pueringer Rental Properties: The project will remodel eight rental housing properties in the downtown Brainerd area—301 South 7th St.: $18,191 for new doors, windows and an electric upgrade for rental apartment units. Total project cost: $60,639.
  • 209-211 South 7th St.: $8,608 for a new roof, kickplates on doors, and an awning on this four-unit apartment building that includes commercial space. Total project cost: $28,633.
  • 616 Front St.: $7,926 for a new roof, new fire doors and kick plates on this building with 10 apartment units and three commercial spaces. Total project cost: $26,422.
  • 1702 Norwood St.: $5,057 for a new apartment building roof. Total project cost: $16,859.
  • 201 South 7th St.: $4,176 to install a new roof on this apartment and commercial building. Total project cost: $13,922.
  • 214 South 7th St.: $3,809 to install a new roof on the unit which includes four rental apartments and one commercial space. Total project cost: $12,696.
  • 1624 Oak St: $2,362 to install a new garage door and roof on this apartment building. Total project cost: $7,875.
  • 1610 Maple St.: $815 to install a new garage door at this rental home. Total project cost: $2,719.

About 40 remaining projects have been recommended for funding and are still securing bids or developing the documentation required to receive a grant. Anticipated total economic development allocations are as follows for each eligible community:

  • Brainerd: $765,600
  • Cold Spring: $505,750
  • Little Falls: $632,130
  • Long Prairie $493,000
  • Pine River: $425,500
  • St. Cloud and East St. Cloud: $1.5 million