March 2019
Mark Your Calendars!
Child Care in Minnesota: A-no-longer-'quiet' crisis demands attention
A large piece of the child care shortage puzzle is ensuring that the providers we do have decide to stay in the field. Greater Minnesota lost 15,000 licensed, family-based child care slots between 2006 and 2015, according to the Center for Rural Policy and Development. Some in-home providers are “aging out” while others have chosen other employment paths.

Family-based child care is a challenging, labor-intensive field that requires licensure and ongoing training and long hours. It demands child development and business skills, and, despite the strain on family budgets to pay for their child’s care, the compensation for front-line child care workers is typically low and offers few if any benefits. Supporting the field as a whole, both existing providers and those considering entering this work, is as important as promoting expansion.
Child Care Bill Funding Important to Counter Greater Minnesota Child Care Shortage
Executive Director of Region Nine Nicole Griensewic Mickelson testified for the Senate and House for t wo bills that work together to create long-term solutions to Greater Minnesota’s child care shortage, HF422/SF537 and HF423/SF538.

The business success and training fund (HF422/SF537) helps ensure that new and existing child care operations are successful and sustainable, and the capital grants (HF423/SF538) help create more physical spaces for our children who need care.
L: Senator Karin Housley
R: Executive Director Nicole Griensewic Mickelson
Surviving & Thriving
"The Madelia people didn't stop," Chamber Director Karla Angus said, "We love our small town lifestyle and we are willing to work hard to keep it."

Angus stated that, even as the buildings were still burning, owners were talking about rebuilding. Community members called government representatives, asking for help. This generated a response from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, which helps with disaster recovery. Senator Julie Rosen, along with many others, worked with Madelia including Region Nine. Senator Amy Klobuchar also paid the city a visit.
Census 2020: Ensuring a Complete Count
Participating in the census is one of the most powerful tools residents have for civic engagement. To ensure a successful census, it is critical to connect and collaborate in order to make sure everyone, regardless of immigration status, age, or income level, is counted and fairly represented.

A kick-off event will be held April 1, 2019 in Minneapolis to celebrate the beginning of the year-long census complete count campaign, We Count . This event is an opportunity to begin sharing information and build relationships to ensure a successful 2020 census complete count campaign.

As stated in the Manakto Free Press article, 2020 census will take the pulse of the city , learning how fast your city grows is important, but the census is more than a number. It’s a snapshot of how a community lives and works, from how much its residents earn to the length of their commutes, said Russell J. Fricano, an associate professor at the Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State University. “Basically, it gives you a sense of a direction a community is heading in terms of growth or decline,” he said.
RNDC and other partners hosted a meeting with Congressman Hagedorn's office in Manakto in order to help explain the importance of the 2020 census.

L to R: Sara Beiswanger, Mankato Area Foundation; Derek Ringhand, Office of Congressman Hagedorn; Bob Tracy, MN Council of Foundations; Bradley Wolfe, MN Council of Nonprofits; Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, RNDC; Joan Naymark, Minnesotans for the American Community Survey; Gary Lee, MN School Boards Association
Watch a short video produced by the Ford Foundation to learn more about what is at stake for the 2020 Census.
JR's Barn: An RLF Success Story
“It was a vision that God laid on my heart,” says Renae. “For the barn to be a place for laughter and for memories to be made. That is when we decided to revamp not only the barn but the entire yard. JR’s Barn does not only offer a barn but an outdoor beautiful location for weddings or just a place to have an amazing time together. Our intent is to bring joy and life to our community by offering a beautiful event farm for all ages to enjoy including weddings, family gatherings, proms, school reunions, and other events.”

Region Nine is proud to be one of the financial partners supporting JR's Barn through the Revolving Loan Fund program.
Intentional Social
Friday, April 12th
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

MSU-M College of Business,
Center for Innovation
& Entrepreneurship
424 N Riverfront Drive, Mankato, MN
Your social media efforts are directly tied to your business goals, right?! No? You’re not alone. Social media marketing for business isn’t new. Organizations large and small have implemented some sort of efforts around social media. However, there is commonly an undeniable disconnect between all the content you’re generating on your social channels and the core goals and vision you have for your
Together, we’ll uncover just how powerful social media can be in supporting every single aspect of your business, and how you can truly identify the impact that your social
efforts are having on your business. This Social Media Breakfast will give you the tools + confidence you need to execute social efforts with intent.

This event is FREE and open to the public. 
$$ Grant Opportunities $$
Community Challenge Grant Program

AARP is now accepting applications for its Community Challenge grant program. In 2019 the grant program will provide funds for community-based “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces. The goal is to spark change and build momentum to improve livability for people of all ages.

Deadline: April 17, 2019
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for grants to use broadband technology to improve access to healthcare and educational services in rural communities. Rural Development will award grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 through its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program .

The grants can be used to finance telecommunication equipment, computer networks, and advanced technologies to support job training, academic instruction, or access to specialized medical care in rural areas.

Deadline: May 15, 2019
Calendar of Events