Pohlad Family Foundation Pledges up to $20 Million to Support Small Business, Improve Neighborhoods and Retain Important Nonprofit Services
MINNEAPOLIS, April 15, 2009 — To help those affected by the economic downturn, the Pohlad Family Foundation has pledged $20 million to help small businesses retain jobs and plan for future growth, improve neighborhoods hardest hit by the housing crisis, and ensure critical nonprofit services for families.
“Job loss, housing loss and lack of credit are the problems impeding the economic recovery,” said Jim Pohlad, Pohlad Family Foundation Director. “Our support targets all three.”
Specific nonprofit partners will administer most of the programs and determine which groups receive funds. Under the program, select small businesses can apply for funds to retain needed jobs or secure low interest loans to meet immediate capital needs or fund growth plans and services. Housing agencies will use funds to provide housing to families, purchase and rehab housing, and increase homeownership. Select nonprofit agencies can also apply for funds for needed services.
“As a family, we want to do our part to help people hurting during this economic crisis,” said Robert Pohlad, Pohlad Family Foundation Director. “Quality services provided by nonprofits are needed to help families recover and plan for their future.”
The Foundation is working with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Foundation/Grow Minnesota!, several housing agencies, and MAP for Nonprofits to ensure:
* Job retention in small businesses planning to grow and/or in need of working capital;
* Increased stability in two Twin Cities neighborhoods (Minneapolis zip code 55411 and St. Paul zip code 55106) devastated by the foreclosure crisis; and
* Services that meet families’ short-term needs and help them prepare for the future.
Job funds and working capital support for small businesses
Small businesses will have access to grants to retain valued employees while planning and adjusting for their futures. Access to short-term, low-interest working capital and capital improvement loans also will be available to help continue business operations and finance improvements consistent with a company’s future growth plans. It will be administered by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Grow Minnesota!, the Chamber’s business retention and economic development initiative. The Chamber, Pohlad Family Foundation and Grow Minnesota! will distribute $5 million – 60 percent for job retention/future growth planning, and 40 percent for loans. Eligible small businesses must be privately held, have fewer than 50 employees, generate annual sales of $10 million or less, and participate in Grow Minnesota! Grow Minnesota! operates in partnership with 43 local chambers of commerce and reaches businesses in more than 50 Minnesota communities. A committee of small business owners will assist the Chamber in approving grants and loans.
Housing support to improve neighborhoods
Nonprofit housing organizations will receive support to provide long-term, service-enriched housing to homeless families; purchase and rehab homes around the state; and increase homeownership in the two Twin Cities areas with the highest rate of foreclosures in the state: Minneapolis (55411) and St. Paul (55106).
Partners with the Pohlad Family Foundation in its housing effort are:
* Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis and Dayton’s Bluff Housing Services, which will receive $2 million to increase homeownership in two neighborhoods with the greatest number of foreclosed properties;
* Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, which will distribute $2.4 million to agencies providing long-term, service-enriched, transitional housing to families;
* Family Housing Fund, whose Home Prosperity Fund will receive a $1 million PRI* to help nonprofit housing groups purchase and rehab foreclosed homes.
Funds for nonprofit organizations
The Pohlad Family Foundation is providing $5 million to help Twin Cities’ nonprofit agencies struggling to meet demands for services retain, or temporarily add, employees providing direct services to families in need. Administered by MAP for Nonprofits, at least 80 percent of grant funds will be used to retain jobs and up to 20 percent will create temporary jobs. A committee of nonprofit experts will assist MAP in making the awards during April and May. Seventy-one (71) nonprofit agencies have been invited to apply.
Matching funds for additional needs
Because the need is anticipated to exceed available funds, the Pohlad Family Foundation is also making up to $1 million available to match contributions to funds set up for these purposes at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Foundation and MAP for Nonprofits. Contributions from all types of givers are welcome.
“In his inaugural address, President Obama reminded us that it is the ‘risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things’ who have always helped move our country forward,” said Pohlad Family Foundation President Bill Pohlad. “Our support of small business alone cannot meet the need or realize the opportunity. So we ask others to join us in supporting this work that also helps families and neighborhoods, and retains needed nonprofit services.”