Minnesota State Mankato receives nearly $1 million grant to help small businesses

The grant will help five partners provide outreach, education and technical assistance to small businesses.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:40 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Strategic Partnerships Center received a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help disadvantaged small businesses.

The nearly $1 million grant is meant to serve as a hub for a new American Rescue Plan initiative, which is designed to reduce barriers for small businesses seeking government resources.

“There were 700 applications and, from that, 51 were funded. We are one of them, so we are really excited about the opportunity,” said Teri Wallace, interim associate vice president for research and dean of extended campus at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

It will help five partners provide outreach, education and technical assistance to small businesses.

“It utilizes a hub and spoke model, so the Strategic Partnership Center serves as the hub. It’s really coordination, bringing people together. One of the first things that we are going to do is strategic planning with the spokes,” Wallace explained.

Those partners are Greenseam, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute at Waseca, Southern Agriculture Center of Excellence at South Central College, Region Nine Development Commission and Mogwai Collaborative at the Hubbard Building.

These spokes are working together as one to build the industrial sector of agriculture and food.

“Providing each of our entities with some dollar resources to be able to activate the ideas and the resources that we all have to focus on. The grant really brought us together, but it also provides us with the resources that we can make this a reality,” GreenSeam Director Sam Ziegler added.

The grant is focused on a nine-county region, which means they can help everyone who needs it.

“We are going to bring them the technical resources in business plan working. If they need funds or grants, we can help identify which funds fit their project. We are also going to be able to have this collective hub of people, where if they have a problem that needs to get solved, one of us from the group is going to be able to help,” Ziegler stated.

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