Press Release: Stewartville, MN Economic Development Authority Receives $9,000 SMIF Grant for New Business Incubation Program


Stewartville, MN (Tuesday, May 30, 2017) -- The Stewartville, MN Economic Development (EDA) was recently notified that they have been awarded a $9,000 Incentive Grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). Joya Stetson, who serves the Stewartville EDA, successfully authored the grant for the implementation of a new business incubation program that will be launched this summer. 

The new and exciting program will encourage the creation and support of new for-profit businesses that contribute to a sustainable and diverse business climate within the City’s business/commercial districts. The program will provide business owners with Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) coordinated education and tools to promote long-term success while filling currently vacant commercial properties in Stewartville. Although the EDA will not have a central incubation space, the provision of rental assistance over 18 months is expected to aid startup success rates. 

New businesses leasing eligible, vacant properties may receive rental assistance at a decreasing rate for 18 months in accordance with the following scale: Months 1-6: 50% subsidy or $830/month max; Months 7-12: 33% subsidy or $560/month max; Months 13-18: 17% subsidy or $275/month max. 

A series of entrepreneurial educational classes will be mandated for participants and will be open for existing businesses to attend as desired free of charge. The following 90-minute courses will be mandatory for participants in the program: Business Planning and Financial Projections (Prerequisite), Market Research, Pricing and Inventory, Marketing Strategies, Customer Service and Business Etiquette, Online Marketing, Websites and Social Media, Basic Bookkeeping, and Legal Considerations for Small Businesses. All courses will be coordinated by CEDA Senior Vice President and Small Business Development Center Counselor Cris Gastner. 

Businesses accepted into the program will also be required to participate in quarterly meetings with open financials and to deliver a public presentation after one year outlining challenges, achievements, and plans for future sustainability. 

The generous grant from SMIF will allow the City to fully commence the program and leverage resources to maximize benefits to the businesses and the community as a whole. 

“[The City] is pleased to offer this tool as a part of our economic development efforts,” said Mayor Jimmie-John King. “We understand how difficult the first year of business can be, and are hopeful that the assistance being offered here will be advantageous for new businesses locating to our community.”


About the Stewartville Economic Development Authority (EDA) 

Established in 1857, the City of Stewartville is a municipal government that serves an estimated population of approximately 6,252. The City's Economic Development Authority (EDA) works to promote community vitality and provide services to both residents and businesses to maintain and enhance their quality of life. The EDA is committed to the support of new business in addition to the provision of service and support to existing businesses within the community. The EDA assists these organizations and individuals with education, monetary assistance through programs/services, and creative and beneficial collaborations with partner entities. For more information about the EDA, please visit: 


About Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) 

CEDA was created in 1986 as a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation then called the Southeastern Minnesota Development Corporation. In 2010, the agency became Community & Economic Development Associates (CEDA) as a result of increased interest and inquiries received from communities outside of the agency’s original service area of Southeast Minnesota. The name change reflects CEDA’s commitment to provide services to fit the needs of any rural community. CEDA provides onsite and/or project based economic and community development services to rural communities and counties in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa currently. The team brings with it over 150 years of collective development experience. For additional information about CEDA and the services they provide, check out their website at 


About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) 

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in the 20 counties of south central and southeastern Minnesota. The Foundation has provided more than $100 million in grants, loans, and programming within the region during the past 30 years. SMIF's key interests include early childhood, community and economic development. To learn more about our work and mission, visit