April 1, 2019

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) has been awarded a $172,000 in grant and loan funding from Wells Fargo. The $72,000 grant and $100,000 loan will be used to provide support to primarily women and Native American small business owners in the child care industry.

The child care issues in Northwest Minnesota are not just about the shortages in slots, but also about the disparities in access to affordable quality child care for targeted groups. Child care businesses, whether licensed as a child care center or as a family-based child care provider, are owned primarily by women. Also, 22 child care businesses are operating between the Red Lake and White Earth reservations. Because child care businesses often have less than $50,000 in annual revenue they typically do not qualify for, nor can they afford, conventional lending products. NMF is committed to help bring training and technical assistance opportunities to these small business owners through partnerships with First Children’s Finance and leveraging Small Business Administration technical assistance and consultation provided by the Northwest Minnesota Small Business Development Center.

NMF plans to provide loan capital to 30-35 child care businesses within the region with the goal of helping these diverse small business owners be successful and maintain child care capacity. The organization also anticipates that within a three year period, 45 child care businesses will have access to technical assistance and 450 child care slots will be retained and/or created.

For more information about this program, visit www.nwmf.org or contact Karen White, chief strategy officer, at 218-759-2057.