Itasca Economic Development Corporation Funding Relief Efforts

At Itasca Economic Development Corporation, we are dedicated to providing you with all of the information that your small business needs to make it through any storm. The Cornavirus Pandemic will not stop us from assisting you with any of your business commitments. One of the main questions on the forefront at this time is, "How can we financially make it through this economic disaster?" We may not have all the answers, but we can help you find them.


Itasca County Grant  Program - Minnesota Funding

The purpose of this grant is to provide funds for Itasca County for-profit and non-profit businesses that have been directly impacted (shut down/closed all or part of their business) by Executive Orders 20-99/21-01. Your application must be submitted during the application window of Thursday, January 21st - Monday, February 8th. No applications will be accepted prior to or after the application window. Only completed applications will be accepted. Please keep reading to better understand the grant process in a step-by-step guide.


If your business has been directly impacted by Executive Order 20-99, submit your application any time between Thursday, January 21st - Monday, February 8th.


Once your application has been reviewed and approved, an IEDC team member will reach out and request additional documentation for verification. 


Once your verification documents have been submitted to IEDC, your applicaiton will be sent to Itasca County for approval. Once approved, funds will be distributed.


This grant window has closed. Please continue to follow this page for more grant opportunities as they become available.



Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

A notice from the SBA: the Paycheck Protection Program has resumed as of Monday, January 11th, 2020. "Initially, we will accept First Draw PPP loan applications from participating CFI's, which include Communiaty Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies and  Microloan Intermediaries."

Details about the PPP:

  • Loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
  • SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.
  • PP loans have an interest rate of 1%.
  • Loans issued prior to June 5 have a maturity of 2 years. Loans issued after June 5 have a maturity of 5 years.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for borrowers who apply for loan forgiveness until SBA remits the borrower's loan forgiveness amount to the lender. If a borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, payments are deferred 10 months after the end of the covered period for the borrower’s loan forgiveness (either 8 weeks or 24 weeks).
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
  • Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

For more information and to apply, click here. 






IEDC Small Business Relief Loan

We want to thank you for your interest in the Itasca Small Business Relief Fund Loan Program. It has been amazing to give back to our community in such a substantial way during this crisis.  It has been possible through the hard work of our board, team and partners that we have been able to accomplish so much thus far. The ISBRF Loan Program is still available. We encourage you to reach out to one of us at our office to help! 

The purpose of this fund is:

• To prevent permanent closure of Itasca County businesses during and after the pandemic.

• To restore affected businesses back to financial health as quickly as possible.

• To recycle funds to continually help those in need.

• To have a fund that takes on risk above and beyond existing resources.

• To leverage other local, regional, state, and federal resources to get businesses back on their feet.

• To provide funds in a quick, efficient manner that would target a 2-week process from application to distribution.

This is a loan with expected repayment.

However, it is designed to maximize cash flow for distressed small businesses that can go to a small business’ bottom line. This would ultimately enable and encourage refinancing from a bank or non-bank lender and make funds available for others.

Loan Size: 

  • Up to $25,000


  • Initial 6 month deferral period for principal.
  • 10 year amortization with a 5 year ballon
  • 0% interest rate


  • Businesses in Itasca County
  • Business affected by the COVID-19 virus (all businesses; not only those included in the executive order)
  • Be current on financial obligations as of March 1st, 2020
  • Be an existing small business
  • Must apply for SBA Disaster Loan Fund as well as the ISBRF

Required Documents: 

  • Entrepreneur Fund Loan Application
  • Two years of:
    • Business Tax Returns
    • Personal Tax Returns
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Narrative Document that includes:
    • What changes the business has made to stay viable during the pandemic
    • Plans to get through the pandemic - work plan & simple cash flow forecast
    • What your business looks like post-pandemic. Define your plans for a new normal






Taconite Area Business Relief Program

  • Businesses located within the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation service area are eligible to apply for 2% interest loans of up to $40,000 to be used as working capital or any legal purposes.
  • No repayment on the loans will be due for the first six months.
  • Followed by 60 monthly payments of principal and interest.
  • Eligible businesses must have been in operation for at least one year and operating on March 1, 2020.
  • Applicants must intend to re-open if currently closed due to the pandemic. It is anticipated that this program could assist approximately 200 local businesses.

Click here for loan guidelines. 


Entrepreneur Fund

Small Business Relief Loans

"As the COVID-19 situation has been rapidly evolving, we have already witnessed the incredible generosity and creativity of the people of our region. Local businesses are the backbone of our Entrepreneur Fund communities and now more than ever we are committed to serving as a facilitator of resources between those who want to help, and those who need it.

The Relief Fund will provide direct grants to small business owners in northeast and central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Small businesses are in need of immediate liquidity to make key changes to operations and weather this storm. 100% of donated funds will go to small businesses and all contributions are tax deductible.

Grants for up to $5,000 will be made on a weekly basis. A review committee will make selections based on the following priorities:

  1. Businesses that are not eligible for other sources of local, state, or federal relief such as the SBA Disaster Assistance loans.
  2. Businesses that serve as a core community staple such as child care, rural/community grocery stores, restaurants, etc.
  3. Entrepreneur Fund’s determination that the available loans and/or grants will make a discernible impact on the sustainability of the business.
  4. Businesses where timing is of the essence."

For this information and more, please click here. 


Micro Loan Program

Max amount to borrow:  $50k

Term: 84 months

Interest Rate: Currently running at 7%

Uses: Working Capital, Supplies, machinery and equipment, fixtures, etc.  cannot be used for real estate

For more information regarding The Small Business Relief Loans or The Micro Loan Program, please contact Mike Korte at





SBA Resources

SBA is working hard to keep things moving in the right direction for small business owners during this extremely difficult time. 


List of SBA Lenders

For an entire list of SBA Lenders in Itasca County, please click here. 


List of Contacts

SBDC consultant, Rob Sjostrand wants you to begin by starting conversations with those who would be a resource to you. Sometimes, asking important questions is the best way to start your conversations. However, you might not know who to take your questions to. We have provided a list of contacts for you to begin.


Disaster Declaration Updates 

The Disaster Declaration has now been approved in the state of Minnesota. This means that small businesses in Minnesota can now apply for SBA Disaster Assistance Funds.

Depending on the SBA's size standards, small businesses can now apply for loans up to $2 Million if they have experienced economic hardships from the COVID-19 Pandemic. These loans can help small businesses pick up the pieces in areas like payroll, accounts payable and fixed debt payments until the current situation improves. We believe that this is a great resource for all small businesses.

You can fill out the application at no cost on your own, but our team encourages you to come in so that we can assist you!

Apply Here


Additional SBA Resources

Please click the following links for more information 
















Minnesota DEED Grant Program

Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program will be accepting applications beginning Tuesday, June 23 and close on 5:00 p.m. Thursday, July 2nd!

“This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.”

• DEED has offered SBDC assistance with completing the application.
• Non-profits are not eligible.
• Home based businesses are ineligible except for childcare providers.
• If applicant has received the SBEL they will not be eligible.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additional requirements include:
• $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
• $10 million for minority business enterprises
• $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
• $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
• $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

There will be a total of $60.3 million grant awards available. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page. 

Small business relief grants










State of Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan


•Range from $2,500 to $35,000 and will be based on the firm’s economic injury and the financial need.
•Interest free.
•Paid back monthly over five (5) years and the first payment will be deferred six (6) months with potentially partial forgiveness.
•Provided to only Minnesota-based businesses.


•Businesses effected by Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08
•Be current on financial obligations as of March 1, 2020
•Be an existing small business (whatever the form of their organization)
•Have been operating in Minnesota for at least one year
•Be willing to provide collateral or personal guarantee for at least 20% of loan
•Have been denied credit by a lender and have sought or be in the process of seeking, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
•Pay-off the emergency loan if financing is received subsequent to loan approval.
Certified Lenders in our Region:
  • Entrepreneur Fund
    • 1-(218)-623-5747
    • 202 W. Superior st. Suite 311. Duluth, MN 55802
  • Northland Foundation
    • 1-(218)-723-4040
    • 202 W. Superior St. Suite 610. Duluth, MN 55802











Small Business Financial Side-By-Side Comparison

Itasca Economic Development, APEX, CEDA and SBDC have been working hard to provide you with the best tools for you to use as a reference as Small Business Owners. One of the most helpful, is the Small Business Financial Side-By-Side Comparison Tool. This tool was created to help you compare federal, state, and local programs available to small businesses and non-profits. This information is ever changing and adapting. Please be sure to check back often to ensure you are viewing the most up to date and current information. 

For the full copy, please click here. 


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