OSKALOOSA — For downtown brick-and-mortar business owners, a Main Street Challenge Grant can help fund dreams of restoring, renovating or remodeling their building.

Main Street Challenge Grants are administered through Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to fund selected projects within Main Street communities in the state. In 2020, the Challenge Grant criteria have also been adapted to include projects that contribute to COVID-19 recovery, inviting the potential for projects such as permanent outdoor seating areas, walk-up order windows and interior alterations.

Awards for this grant range from $15,000 to $75,000 with a total of $925,000 to be awarded to eligible applicants for projects across the state. To be eligible, projects must take place within the designated Main Street district, grant funds must be matched dollar for dollar and the local Main Street program must be the applicant.

Oskaloosa Main Street is now holding a competitive pre-application process to review project proposals and will select one to submit to the state for funding. Each Main Street community may only submit one grant application to the state. The deadline is Friday, July 31.

Oskaloosa Main Street is looking for “shovel-ready” projects that entail significant rehabilitation. High scoring projects should convert unused or underutilized space, adding jobs and/or housing. Projects must be well-positioned to be completed within 24 months of the grant award. 

The pre-application and additional details are available at oacdg.org/about/main_street_oskaloosa.php. For more grant information, please contact Oskaloosa Main Street Director Jessica Reuter at 641-672- 2591 or jreuter@oacdg.org.

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