SMIF Establishes Disaster Recovery Fund to Support Madelia Fire Relief

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Today, AgStar Financial Services announced a $15,000 grant to Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) to help relief efforts in last night’s fire in Madelia, which SMIF has matched with $15,000.

Both organizations are encouraging other organizations and corporations to match their donations to help those most directly impacted by this disaster with a goal of achieving a $50,000 business recovery grant fund for impacted businesses.

“With a population of just over 2,200 people, losing key main street businesses is devastating to Madelia, as well as the region’s farmers who depend on a thriving business community,” explained John Monson, Senior Vice President of Marketplace Strategies. “We’re eager to help these impacted businesses take the first steps toward recovery with a non-bureaucratic grant process and we are happy to partner with SMIF. They have a history of handling this program with efficiency and success.”

Among the businesses affected were restaurants, a dentistry, an upholstery shop and the Culligan store, which was bulldozed down to stop the fire from spreading to the north side of town.

“In past years, when tragedy strikes our southern Minnesota region, we have worked with partners to provide business recovery grants,” explained Tim Penny, Southern Minnesota Foundation Initiative President and CEO. “We are prepared to do the same for the Madelia community in the aftermath of their terrible loss. The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation is grateful to AgStar for offering an initial grant of $15,000 for this purpose and our Foundation is matching that grant dollar for dollar. We are also reaching out to other funders to support this business recovery program.”

To donate, visit Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s website or call (507) 455-3215.