The Northland Foundation has a range of business financing products available. We work closely with borrowers and other lenders to find the best path forward.

Often the Northland Foundation participates with banks, credit unions, and other non-traditional lenders to put together a unique loan package to meet the needs of the borrower. We can also lend directly to businesses as the primary lender.

We work hard to say yes! The Northland Foundation is an equal opportunity lender working to serve business borrowers within our rural region.

Basic Eligibility & Loan Tools

These are broad guidelines. Different programs and funding pools may have different requirements.

  • LOCATION: Applicant businesses must be located in our service area.
  • TYPES OF ASSETS WE FINANCE: The Northland Foundation most often lends working capital for fixed assets like land, buildings, and equipment.
  • NONPROFIT BORROWERS: Nonprofit organizations may qualify when their focus aligns with the Northland Foundation’s mission and they meet all other requirements.

Following are some of the loan products we have at our disposal. We work with financing partners and borrowers to determine the right solution for their situation.

Direct & Participation Loans

We provide direct loans with the Northland Foundation as the originator of the note, and participation loans where we purchase a part of a loan from another lender such as a bank or credit union.

  • Amounts from $50,000 to $500,000.
  • Interest rates are negotiated fixed or floating rates.
  • Term and amortization based on the assets financed, collateral securing the loan, and needs of the business. Amortizations will generally not exceed 20 years. 
  • Loans may be subordinated to the interests of institutional lenders.

Business Loan Application 

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Emerging Entrepreneur Loans

Offered in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), some of the goals of Emerging Entrepreneur Loans are to promote business growth in low-income and more rural parts of the region and those owned by minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with low incomes.

  • Interest rate, collateral requirements, and other terms of each loan are set by the Foundation. The interest rate may not exceed the Wall Street Journal prime rate plus 4%.
  • Amounts from $10,000 to $300,000+. The State of Minnesota’s share of an Emerging Entrepreneur Loan may range from $5,000 to $150,000, with state funds matched at least 1:1 by financing from a bank or other lender. 
  • Beginning micro-enterprises, including retail businesses, may apply for up to $50,000 with no matching funds required.

Business Loan Application 

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Commercial Construction & Rehabilitation Loans

The Northland Foundation has capital available for low-interest financing for commercial construction and rehabilitation projects within our service area. We are most interested in providing gap financing in partnership with other lenders but, under certain circumstances, could be the sole lender.

  • Loans up to $500,000
  • Interest rates of 3-5%
  • Land Acquisition, Development, Redevelopment, Demolition, Site Preparation
  • Predesign, Design, Engineering
  • Repair, Renovation of Real Property, Capital Improvements, Relocation

Some of the criteria for consideration include increases to property values, planned or potential job creation, improved energy efficiency, and maintaining economic vitality in rural communities.

If you have questions about the program or are interested in a face-to-face meeting in your county/community, please email Michael or Amanda.

Loan Guarantees

The Northland Foundation is an enrolled lender in the SSBCI 2.0 Minnesota Loan Guarantee Program (MNLGP), part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative to help lenders mitigate risk with the goal to make more loan capital available for eligible small businesses (fewer than 500 employees). Lending decisions are made by the Northland Foundation based on available capital and other factors.

  • Guarantee amount is as much as 80% of the loan principal, to a maximum of $500,000.
  • A fee of 0.25% of the guarantee amount is charged for each enrolled loan. The fee is waived for loans to qualified Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDI)-Owned businesses and for loans with terms of less than one year.
  • The borrower business must be located within the region we serve and use loan proceeds for an eligible business purpose which include startup costs; working capital; equipment; inventory; the purchase, construction, or renovation of an eligible place of business (not for passive real estate investment purposes); and the purchase of any tangible or intangible assets except goodwill.

SBA Loans

We offer SBA loans either directly to borrowers or in participation with other lenders.

  • Amounts up to $350,000.
  • Terms are 7-10 years for working capital, inventory, business acquisition, tenant improvements, and start-up expenses and up to 25 years for real estate.

Kiva Crowdfunded Loans

The Northland Foundation has partnered with Kiva, a non-profit micro-loan organization. Kiva uses a crowd-funding platform that encourages lenders around the world to lend to local borrowers. Borrowers help themselves reach their loan goal by getting family, friends, and community members to contribute to the loan amount.

  • Amount from $1,000-$15,000.
  • 0% interest with a repayment term of up to 3 years. Loan agreements and repayment terms are managed directly by Kiva.
  • As a Kiva Trustee, we can help people who are interested in applying to Kiva to decide if it’s a good fit for them, prepare their Kiva business plan, and vouch for their business.

Learn more here

Grants for Businesses

From time to time, the Northland Foundation may have grants available to eligible businesses. Visit Special Grants on this website to find out if any grant opportunities are available right now.

For Help With

Business loans, contact Michael Colclough or Amanda Vuicich.

From traditional, ancestral & contemporary lands of Ojibwe, Dakota, Northern Cheyenne & other Native people. See a more detailed acknowledgement of this land and its history.


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