Business & Financial Assistance

Sherburne County intends to provide assistance to industries both in qualifying for incentive based financing and in coordinating attractive financing packages. The following is an outline of financing programs that could be available to assist industries undertaking an expansion into our area. For more information on any of the programs call 763-765-3001 or 1-800-433-5229 (in Minnesota) to speak to the Economic Development Coordinator.

Loan Programs:

SBA 7(a) Guaranteed Loan Program

Small Business Administration
Alisha Podobinski, 612-370-2331

The program operates through private-sector lenders that provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA (up to 85% of loan) -- the Agency has no funds for direct lending or grants. A maximum loan amount of $5 million has been established. However, the maximum guaranty is generally $13.75 million. Use of proceeds: purchase of real estate, construction, renovation or leasehold improvements, acquisition of furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment; purchase of inventory and working capital.

Term Fees Interest
twenty-five (25) years for real estate and equipment; and, generally seven (7) years for working capital. $0-$150,000 loan: 2% of guaranty.$150,001 -$700,000 3% of guaranty. $700,000-$1,00,000 3.5% of guaranty. $1,000,000 +additional .25 % $50,000+ loan - max. prime + 2.25% (2.75% if 7+ years). $25-$50,000 - max. prime + 3.25% (3.75% if 7+ years). $0-$25,000 - max. prime +4.25% (4.75 if 7+ years).
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
fixed/variable Maximum Loan $5,000,000 Determined by four factors:
  • Type of Business
  • Size of business
  • Use of Loan Proceeds
  • Special Circumstances

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SBA 504 Loan Program

Central Minnesota Development Company (CMDC),
Kevin Weeres, 763-784-3337

SBA provides subordinate, second mortgage financing to be combined with bank financing of fixed assets.

Term Fees Interest
10 and 20 year terms Approximately 3% of debenture. Pegged to an increment above 5 and 10 year US Treasury Issues.
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
fixed Up to $5,500,000 10% equity. For profit business.

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USDA Business and Industry Loan Guarantees

U.S. Department of Agriculture,
David Gaffaney: 651-602-7814

Since Sherburne is a rural county, its businesses are eligible for loan guarantees from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA guarantees loans 80% up to $5,000,000, 70% up to $10,000,000 and 60% over $10 mil.

Term Fees Interest
1 to 30 years Annual renewal fee Set by primary lender.
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
fixed/variable Up to $40 million 10% to 20% equity depending on if it is a new or existing business. Must be located in rural area - area less than 50,000 in population.

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Tax Abatement Financing, Tax Rebate Financing

Sherburne County
Dan Weber: 763-765-3007

The Minnesota State Legislature created Tax Abatement Financing as a locally controlled source of financing.

The County Board must find that Tax Abatement Financing is in the public interest because the tax abatement will meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Increase or preserve tax base
  • Provide employment opportunities in a County
  • Provide or help acquire or construct public facilities
  • Help redevelop or renew blighted areas
  • Help provide access to services for a county's residents
  • Finance or provide public infrastructure
  • Stabilize the tax base through equalization of property tax revenues with respect to utility property, both real and personal

The county requires that cities approve the abatement prior to the county, to ensure that the county doesn't pre-empt city goals. The amount and term of the abatement is determined by the county board based on county policies and an application. For additional detail and a copy of the county's Tax Abatement Policy and application, please contact Dan Weber, Economic Development Specialist.

Sherburne County’s Tax Abatement Financing Policy PDF

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Minnesota Investment Fund

Department of Employment and Economic Development:
Steve Sussman: 651-297-1164 or Carol Presley-Olson 651- 296-3898

To create new and retain the highest quality jobs possible on a state wide basis with a focus on industrial, manufacturing and technology related industries; to increase the local and state tax base and improve the economic vitality for all Minnesota citizens. Loans for land, buildings, equipment and training are eligible. Funds may also be used for infrastructure improvements necessary to support businesses located or intending to locate in Minnesota.

Term Fees Interest
Real estate a maximum of 20 years; machinery and equipment a maximum of 10 years. Negotiated Negotiated
Interest Type Amount $
Negotiated $500,000

Cities, counties, townships and recognized Indian tribal governments. Minimum Requirements. All projects must meet minimum criteria for private investment, number of jobs created or retained and wage thresholds. Other Funds Required. At least 50% of total project costs must be privately financed through owner equity and other lending sources. Most applications selected for funding have at least 70% private financing.

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Small Business Development Loan

Department of Employment and Economic Development:
Steve Sussman: 651-297-1164 or Carol Presley-Olson 651-296-3898

The Minnesota Agricultural and Economic Development Board (MAEDB) makes small business loans through the issuance of industrial development bonds backed by a state-funded reserve of 25%. Acquisition of land, building, machinery and equipment; building construction and renovations; development costs such as engineering, legal and financial fees. Working capital and refinancing are not eligible.

Term Fees Interest
Real estate at maximum of 20 years; equipment at 10 years or 80% of useful life. Bond issuance costs of 4% are capitalized with the loan principal. Ten percent of bond issue must be escrowed. Market rate of interest for similar securities at the time bonds are sold
Interest Type Amount $
Fixed $500,000 min - $6 Mill. max.

Generally, 20% of the project costs must be privately financed through equity or other sources; 25% is required on equipment transactions. Manufacturing and industrial businesses located or intending to locate in Minnesota, as defined by Small Business Administration size and eligibility standards; generally, those with 500 employees or fewer. New capital investment resulting in a significant number of new jobs and other beneficial economic impacts.

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Big Lake SAC/WAC Incentive Program

Hanna Klimmek

Big Lake offers a SAC/WAC Payment Incentive Program.

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Micro Loan Fund

City of Elk River

Below prime loans for industrial businesses for real estate, equipment, and infrastructure costs.

Term Fees Interest
10-15 yrs 10% of loan amount 2-3 points below prime
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
Fixed $100,000 Located in West Elk River and must be an industrial business. 10% equity requirement.

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Princeton Loan Fund

Agency: City of Princeton

Commercial and Industrial companies for fixed assets including land and building purchase, building construction, leasehold improvements and renovations; acquisition, renovation, or moving machinery and equipment.

Term Fees Interest
5-8 years Reimbursement of closing and administrative costs At or below market
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
Fixed Up to $75,000 Be within city limits, business subsidy law requirements, job retention and/or creation and increased tax base.

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Local Revolving Loan Funds

Elk River:- 763-635-1042

Fixed assets including land and building purchase, building construction, leasehold improvements and renovations; acquisition, renovation, or moving machinery and equipment; and working capital loans secured with fixed repayment schedules.

Term Fees Interest
Real Estate - up to 20 years; machinery, equipment up to 10 years. 1.75% loan origination fee, 0.5% loan underwriting fee, all other legal and other loan closing costs. Rates determined by local jurisdiction.
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
Fixed, Adjustable Up to $750,000 A financial institution must be a participant in the project financing. Other criteria set by local jurisdictions.

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Business Loans

Initiative Foundation
Dan Bullert, Business Finance Officer
(320) 632-9255

The Initiative Foundation offers the following business financing programs to meet diverse regional needs:

  • Direct Business Loan Fund - up to $250,000 for value-added agriculture and manufacturing companies that bring new revenue to communities.
  • Technology Capital Fund - up to $500,000 for emerging high-tech ventures and technologies that increase productivity.
  • Green Business Loan Fund - up to $250,000 for businesses that preserve the environment, reduce energy demands or recycle existing waste streams.
  • Nonprofit Loan Fund - up to $50,000 for the creation or expansion of mission-related earned-income/social enterprise activities carried out by eligible nonprofit organizations. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, equipment acquisition and/or facility improvements.
  • Lender Match Loan Fund - up to $50,000 for manufacturing, technology, wholesale and other businesses. In partnership with financial institutions, this fund provides crucial capital to minimize the out-of-pocket cash outlay otherwise needed for a down payment on the purchase of equipment or real estate.

The Initiative Foundation places an emphasis on technology-based and green businesses as well as value-added manufacturing and agriculture operations. Nontraditional business owners such as women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Business loans are competitive and subject to review by staff and a volunteer committee. Loans may require 90 days to review and close based on complexity and documentation.

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Seed Investment

Initiative Foundation
Paul Kleinwachter: 320-631-2009

The purpose of the Seed Fund is to promote the entrepreneurial culture within Central Minnesota and promote the capacity of manufacturing or technology-related companies to grow. Eligible uses of funds include the development of new products or technologies including:

  • Product research and development.
  • Working capital to develop new product(s).
  • Market research and development of new product(s).
  • Prototype development and testing.
  • Other related uses deemed appropriate by the Central Minnesota Seed Fund.
Term Fees Interest
n/a 1% origination fee n/a
Interest Type Amount $
n/a maximum is $50,000

Project funding requires a minimum of a 1:1 equity or cash match dollar for every dollar of Seed Fund investments. Eligible participants include individuals, small and medium size businesses located in the 14 counties served by the Initiative Foundation and the St. Cloud Regional Office of Minnesota Technology.

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Technology Capital Fund

Initiative Foundation

Supports emerging technology ventures and helps established companies integrate proven productivity applications into their business operations and process. Eligible investments: Operating capital, Fixed Assets, land and buildings, Construction and leasehold improvements, Machinery and equipment for high-volume productivity or high margin applications, Commercialization of new product launch and marketing, Productivity and process-enhancing software systems.

Term Fees Interest
Varies Up to 2% origination fee, legal fees associated with documenting and closing the investment. Varies
Interest Type Amount $
Varies $500,000

Demonstrated management skills, industry experience and financial controls. A sound business plan with financial projections. Due diligence in product and technology validations. Outside assessment of business and marketing plan (if deemed necessary). Creation of living wage jobs with broad employee benefits.

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Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Mike Nelson: 651-757-2121 or 800-985-4247 (within MN)

Loans for environmental improvement projects such as site clean-ups or equipment purchases exceeding environmental regulations.

Term Fees Interest
7 years n/a 4% or half prime rate, whichever is greater.
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
Fixed $50,000 Must have less than 50 employee, net worth less than $1,000,000, and an after-tax profit of less than $1,000,000.

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Technical Assistance:

Sherburne County Small Business Development Center

Consulting services for area businesses are available at no cost two days a month at the Government Center in Elk River. Tom Willett, assists startup and existing businesses with cash flow projections, loan applications, business plans, and a variety of business questions. Appointments are scheduled at 763-691-8585.

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Environmental Assistance:

Minnesota Small Business Environmental Assistance Program

The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) helps Minnesota businesses and local governments maintain compliance with new and existing environmental requirements, reduce or eliminate the amounts of emissions and wastes generated, and reduce regulatory burden. These services are free, non-regulatory, and impose no obligations. More information can be found at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website or by calling (651) 282-6143.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Nelson or Troy Johnson, SBEAP Coordinator

Employment Related Incentives:

The following is a description of employment training programs which may be of value to your company:

Job Training Partnership Act Programs (JTPA)

JTPA programs offer financial incentives to employers for hiring and training low-income and unemployed people. The programs are federally funded and locally planned and operated.

Funds are available to pay for specialized classroom training of the employer's choice or to reimburse an employer up to 50 percent of wages paid for a specified period, up to six months, of on-the-job training.

Besides customized classroom and on-the-job training, the Job Training Partnership Act offers a variety of other services, including vocational evaluation and assessment.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Targeted Jobs Tax Credit provides an incentive to employers to hire persons from targeted groups that have a particularly high unemployment rate or other special employment needs. There is no limit on the number of eligible people who may be hired or on the number of times an employer may claim the tax credit.

Employers receive a federal tax credit of as much $2,400 for each new adult hire; $1,200 for each new summer youth hire; and $9,000 for each new long-term family assistance recipient hired over a two-year period.

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Minnesota Job Skills Partnership

Department of Employment and Economic Development
Steve Sussman: 651-297-1164

Provides State grants to educational institutions for the development of training programs that meet specific business needs. To act as a catalyst between business and education in developing cooperative training projects that provide training for new jobs or retrain existing employees. Grants are awarded to educational institutions with businesses as partners. Funds may be used for educational infrastructure improvements necessary to support businesses located or intending to locate in Minnesota.

Term Fees Interest
1-3 years n/a n/a
Interest Type Amount $ Eligibility/Requirements
n/a Up to $400,000 All projects must have at least one educational institution and one business working together. Costs are paid on a reimbursement basis.

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EDA Revolving Loan Fund Program

Application PDF | Checklist PDF Sherburne County
Dan Weber, 763-765-3007

Eligible Uses of the Revolving Loan Fund

  • Land and Building Acquisition
  • Land Improvements
  • New Building Construction
  • Building Renovation and Modernization
  • Machinery, Equipment & Fixtures - the remaining effective life must be equal to or exceed the life of the loan.

Ineligible Uses of the Revolving Loan Fund

  • Debt Refinancing
  • Working Capital
  • Residential Real Estate
  • Taxes
  • Professional Fees
  • Gambling, Religious, Political or Adult/Pornographic Businesses

Amount Available
Applications will be accepted for loan amounts ranging from $25,000 up to $100,000. Amounts available to applicants under this Program are determined based on an evaluation of positive economic impact and the number of full time (or full time equivalent) non-seasonal jobs that the organization will maintain or create within Sherburne County.

Application forms are available on line at or can be received from Sherburne County Government Center; Administration Office. A completed loan application must be submitted to the County Administration Office.

Applicant should allow a minimum of four to six weeks for processing once the completed application and all required documentation are submitted. County Administration will assist the applicant through all stages of the application process. County Administration, in consultation with the a third party vendor, will review the loan request utilizing financial industry standards including, but not limited to, determining the following:

  • Applicant is credit worthy
  • Applicant can show lender commitments
  • Applicant is willing to sign a personal guarantee
  • Applicant can pledge adequate collateral
  • Applicant can inject a minimum of 5% equity
  • Applicant can demonstrate project feasibility (demonstrated cash flow projections, business plan, etc.)
  • Applicant must owner occupy a minimum 51% of a building project

An initial meeting with the Applicant and the primary lender will be set up with County Administration and/or CMDC Business Financing. If the application meets the initial policy guidelines, County Administration will forward the completed application to the CMDC Business Financing for review. Following the review, CMDC Business Financing would make a recommendation to the County EDA for approval or denial. This recommendation would be presented to the County EDA for final determination.

For all projects, the applicant must have loan approval prior to beginning the project. Failure to do so will jeopardize loan fund eligibility.

Nothing in this Policy shall require the Economic Development Authority to make a loan to a business that meets the requirements of the Policy. The EDA is not required to make a loan or provide any financial assistance to a business that meets the requirements of this Policy unless the EDA in its sole discretion determines that it is in the County's interest to make a loan. Each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Loan Terms Guidelines

  1. Minimum amount of loans - $25,000
  2. Maximum amount of loans - $100,000
  3. The loan term shall be no less than 3 year and may be negotiated up to 20 years based upon the productive life of the assets.
  4. Recipients will be charged a $1,500 or 1.5% of the loan amount, whichever is greater, upfront application cost.
  5. Recipients will be charged a 1% loan origination fee plus all costs associated with the loan, including but not limited to legal and consulting costs that may be incurred by the County EDA in processing the loan application.
  6. RLF Loan generally shall not exceed 25% of total project costs
  7. The interest rate will be fixed for up to five years at ½ point below the lowest prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal the day the loan closed. The interest rate will be computed as simple interest and will be fixed for a period not to exceed five years and adjusted for a similar period using the same index and margin. All loans will be structured to fully amortize over the term of the loan. Recipients will be required to set up automatic payments from their checking account for the monthly loan payments under this program.
  8. Recipients must at all times maintain property insurance on buildings and contents for full replacement value. Insurance policies shall name Sherburne County EDA as a Lender Loss Payee.
  9. Payments more than 30 days delinquent will be assessed a five (5) percent penalty. Payments first go towards any accrued penalties, then towards accrued interest, and lastly to reduce the balance of the principal.
  10. No project may commence until the Sherburne County EDA has approved the loan and required local government approvals have been obtained by the Recipient. Any costs incurred before the loan application has been approved are not eligible expenditures.
  11. The applicant will authorize the Sherburne County EDA to obtain verification of any applicable records, including assets, employment records, and consumer credit reports.
  12. The applicant is required to submit any/all applicable job reporting requirements and financial statements as required by the Economic Development Authority and as may be periodically requested by County Administration.

Loan Procedures
Prior to releasing funds, the following documentation, and any other documentation required by the County EDA or County Administration, must be in place or provided at the appropriate time during the term of the loan process:

  1. Notice of Award - The Economic Development Authority must have reviewed and approved a complete application for an eligible Applicant.
  2. Loan Agreement - A loan agreement shall be executed by the Sherburne County EDA Chair and the principal owner(s) or officer(s) of the business. The agreement must be dated; must state the agreement between the Economic Development Authority and the business; and must specify the amount and terms of the loan funds delivered.
  3. Loan Security - Any loan made from the Revolving Loan Fund shall be adequately secured to the satisfaction of the Economic Development Authority. Mortgage or lien instruments must be executed at the time of the loan closing. The Sherburne County EDA will take a security interest position in any equipment, real estate or other collateral being financed. Subordinate lien positions loans will be accepted. The County Attorney shall record the instrument and place the original in the project file which is kept in County Administration.
  4. Amortization Schedule - An amortization schedule shall be prepared by CMDC Business Financing with a copy provided to the borrower. Copies also are retained on file with County Administration.
  5. Evidence of Permits - Documentation must be proved by the applicant.
  6. Maintain fire and extended coverage insurance on the project property as required during the term of the loan. Life insurance, Key Man and business interruption insurance may be required.
  7. Insurance will be required for full replacement value of the property being financed and should not be less than the aggregate balance of the loan(s) used to finance the project.
  8. Other Documentation - The Applicant may be asked to provide other types of documentation.

Post-Approval of Loan Recipient
In addition to the terms and conditions of the loan, all Recipients must agree to comply with the following:

  • To use loan money only to pay the cost of services and materials necessary to complete the project or activity for which the loan funds were awarded.
  • To permit inspections by persons authorized by the County EDA of all projects and properties assisted with loan funds. Related project materials shall also be open to inspections which include but may not be limited to, materials, equipment and condition of employment. Requests for inspection shall be complied with by the Recipient.
  • To maintain records on the projects as may be requested by the County EDA. These files shall be maintained as long as the loan is active or for at least three (3) years after completion of the work for which the loan has been obtained, whichever is longer.
  • The business must maintain an actual physical presence within Sherburne County.

Post Closing and Monitoring
General Procedures:

  1. When the loan closing is completed and the funds are disbursed, County Administration will establish a loan servicing file to contain:
    1. All closing documents
    2. A log of all conversations and correspondence relating to the loan
    3. A master follow-up file to ensure loan monitoring functions are performed on a timely basis.
  2. The calculation of principal and interest, and monthly payment reports will be executed at the time of the loan closing by CMDC Business Financing.
  3. Fund Management services will be provided by CMDC Business Financing. CMDC Business Financing will assist with loan packaging, underwriting and related marketing services for the Fund.

County Administration will be responsible for collecting and maintaining evidence of ongoing compliance with any loan requirements, including job creation and retention, insurance, financial reporting and any special conditions of the original agreement. An annual report of projects financed through this program will be provided to the County EDA and County Board members each year.

The developer/business shall file a report for every year the business/developer receives a benefit under Revolving Loan Policy.

In the event the business is in default on any of the terms and conditions of the loan agreement, all sums due and owing, including penalties, shall, at the Economic Development Authority's option, become due and payable. To exercise this option, the County Attorney shall prepare a written notice to the business. The notice shall specify the following:

  • The default
  • The action required to cure the default
  • A date, not less than (30) days from the date of the notice, by which the default must be secured to avoid foreclosure or other corrective action.
  • Any penalties incurred as a result of the default, inability to create job, etc.

The County EDA will determine when and how to collect and liquidate secured collateral in its sole discretion.

Use of Loan Repayments and Reporting
Repaid loans shall be re-deposited in the Revolving Loan Fund Account and used in a manner consistent with these policies and procedures. A separate accounting record for each loan shall be kept to account for all funds loaned.

Download an Application Form PDF or request one by writing to the contact address to the upper left. A completed loan application must be submitted to the County Administration Office.

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Economic Development Contact:

Sherburne County Govt Center
ATTN: Dan Weber
           Assistant County Admin
13880 Business Center Dr NW
Suite 100
Elk River, MN 55330-4668

Office Location & Hours

Phone: 763-765-3007
Fax: 763-765-3002
Contact Sherburne County with your questions, comments and feedback