Regional Programs

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Presentation Overview on Regional/State MN Non-Traditional Lending Partners

Northeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center

The regional Small Business Development Center program serves the Northeast Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis.  Consultants help anyone seeking assistance to start, manage or grow a business in the region, the majority of which at no charge.

Entrepreneur Fund Business Loans

The Northeast Entrepreneur Fund assists those considering the start-up or expansion of small business with planning and financing through its own loan fund. Loan amounts of up to $500,000 can be used to purchase equipment and inventory and to provide working capital. They also provide micro-loans.

Northland Foundation Business Finance Programs

The Northland Foundation, a regional foundation serving the communities of northeastern Minnesota, provides assistance to small and medium-size businesses in the form of business loans, working capital lines of credit, loan guarantees, and royalty investments.

 Minnesota Power

Minnesota Power provides reliable, economical energy and private sector leadership in economic development. They have resources, connections and experience to help companies find sites and secure capital for expansion and relocation projects in our service area.  Services include:

  • Site selection assistance
  • Financial deal structuring
  • Electric rate information
  • Market and industry research
  • Information and referral

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) Revolving Loan Fund

ARDC offers a business loan program providing below market rate loans of up to $250,000 to for-profit owner operated businesses engaged in manufacturing, valued added products, tourism, the office sector and technological innovative industries.

Carlton County EDA

Learn more about financial resources, partner organizations, talent attraction, and technical assistance available to businesses in Carlton County.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Foreign Trade Zone #51

Carlton County, which is part of the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area, is included in Foreign Trade Zone #51 managed by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. A Foreign Trade Zone is the U.S. version of an International Free Trade Zone. Always located near a Port of Entry, an FTZ can be used to store foreign or domestic goods, re-package materials, assemble products, manufacture or re-export goods without paying Customs duties. Merchandise can be held indefinitely within an FTZ without any payment of customs duty. Contact Kate Ferguson Director of Business Development for more information at 218-740-5422 or