Daryl Boetcher, owner of The Salsa Guy, addressed the Spring Valley Economic Development Authority at its last meeting to discuss his application for a Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) grant to install a commercial kitchen in his business.

This is an incentive grant in which SMIF would provide up to $20,000 to help an entrepreneur launch an enterprise. For this grant SMIF focuses on projects that support collaboration within the community and demonstrate results.

His plan consists of using part of his building space to put in a commercial kitchen. Boetcher explained, "This would not just be for myself, but for others who don't have the opportunity to get to a commercial kitchen, which around here is not easy to do."

As a small business owner himself Boetcher has found that it is very costly to rent and available kitchens are very hard to find around this area. So, not only would local community members benefit from the space, but also people from all over this region.

Boetcher advised the board that recently the manager of the Rochester Farmers Market asked to rent this space, thinking it already had a commercial kitchen available.

City Administrator Deb Zimmer added that when The Salsa Guy first opened she had been approached by at least three people wanting to rent out a commercial kitchen, further showing the demand for such a space.

"We have got tons of people around our community that want to be small entrepreneurs and small business owners, but they don't know where to go," said Boettcher. "And that's the difficult part; you get stopped before you get started when you should be getting the green light instead of the red light."

Boetcher has meetings scheduled with businesses that have similar setups in order to get an approximate cost of creating the kitchen space. He is also working with his adviser for the Small Business Administration, Chris Gasner, to come up with a clear business plan for this investment.

While the $20,000 would not cover all the costs, it may be close enough to bring the idea to fruition. The board enthusiastically approved a motion to go after the grant for the project.

In other business:

• The board discussed the $750 origination fee for the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. Economic development director Cathy Enerson asked that $500 be taken out of the grant funds, which are left over funds from previous grants, and $250 come out of the EDA fund.

• The next EDA meeting will be held on Aug. 14 at 8:30 a.m.