Sent from traditional, ancestral and contemporary homelands of Ojibwe, Dakota, Northern Cheyenne & other Indigenous people
The Northland Foundation recently closed an Emerging Entrepreneur loan for a northern St. Louis County business.
Willow Rook Ranch Equine Massage Therapy is a veteran-owned startup located in Chisholm. The owner, Brad Castigneri, offers individualized injury care, pre- and post-event and preventative massage and stretching services for horses, as well as select therapy services for dogs and pigs.
To learn more about Business Services and loan tools available, please email our Business Finance Director, Michael Colclough.
As restrictions put into place during the pandemic are being lifted another "new normal" is emerging across the region, state, and nation.
Northland Foundation's Business Finance Director, Michael Colclough along with Betsy Olivanti and Vicki Hagberg, consultants with the Northland Small Business Development Center, recently shared their observations on northeastern Minnesota's current small business and lending landscape.
The economy as a whole appears strong(er). There is a great deal of activity and growth.
Numerous existing businesses are changing hands, and a large number of new start-ups have opened or are in the planning stages.
The federal government has unrolled some unique lending options during the last year, opening up new opportunities for business borrowers.
The regional economy is expanding in both traditional and nontraditional ways.
Labor shortages are being experienced across every sector. The workforce crunch is stifling some level of growth.
Materials and labor costs are high. Some building projects have been put on hold due to the cost of lumber, etc.
There are lingering supply chain issues.
Disruption to consumer behaviors is not changing quickly e.g. online in place of brick-and-mortar shopping, or takeout/delivery versus dining in. Businesses that have not adapted will continue to feel the effects.
Access to Capital
Tapping into federally funded stimulus money, for example Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants, is still a strong focus.
The banking landscape is shifting. New players are moving into the market, consolidations are happening, and community banks are creating wider regional footprints.
Competition among lenders is fierce. Lenders are making up reduced interest income by the sheer volume of deals.
Barriers persist to getting business capital into the hands of Indigenous, Black, Asian, Latinx, and other entrepreneurs of color, as well as to individuals in very rural and lower-income communities. A number of organizations are working on solutions to this persistent problem, which limits growth and prosperity in the region.
"The pandemic has created many challenges for our regional economy, but we are bullish on the future. The silver lining we have seen is the resiliency of our small business owners, from restaurants pivoting to online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup to many more individuals deciding to take the plunge and start their own businesses," concluded Michael Colclough.