Financing FAQ

Where do you lend?

We lend to entrepreneurs located within our service area. That area includes an 17-county region of northeastern Minnesota, central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Our service area includes Aitkin, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, St. Louis, Stearns and Todd Counties in Minnesota and Douglas County in Wisconsin.
Lending map

What types of loans do you offer?

Our loans range from $1,000 – $1,000,000 in size with terms ranging from 3 to 6 years for working capital and equipment loans and 10+ for loans related to renovation or commercial real estate. Looking for more? Let us know.

What interest rate can I expect to pay?

Interest rates vary depending on the specific loan scenario but are typically 1-2% points higher than current bank financing rates. (But less than financing with a credit card or online lenders.)

Are there any grants available to start or expand my business?

We do not receive funding to provide free money for business capital. Grant opportunities are very limited. provides a list of available federal grants.

What will I need to apply for a loan?

A business plan, a project proposal (if applicable), a sources and uses form, a cash-flow form, a break-even analysis (if applicable), a personal financial statement, a personal income and expense worksheet, 2 years of personal and business tax returns (if applicable), and an Entrepreneur Fund loan application.

Besides service area, what do you look at to determine if I qualify for financing?

We use the “Five C’s”; character, credit, capacity, collateral and conditions, to help us determine your ability to repay the loan.

What are the “Five C’s”?

Investopedia explains the “Five C’s” as a method of evaluating a borrower by incorporating both qualitative and quantitative measures. The first factor, character, refers to a borrower’s reputation. Capacity measures a borrower’s ability to repay a loan by comparing income against recurring debts. The lender will consider any capital the borrower puts toward a potential investment, because a large contribution by the borrower will lessen the chance of default. Collateral, such as property or large assets, helps to secure the loan. Finally, the conditions of the loan, such as the interest rate and amount of principal, will influence the lender’s desire to finance the borrower.

What if one of those areas is weak?

Our decision to lend is based on a global perspective so if one of the “Five C’s” is weak and another is not you still have a strong chance to receive an approval.

The Duluth Grill has been a regional staple for locals and visitors alike for years, so when owners Tom and Jaima Hanson were looking to embark on a new endeavor, public excitement was palpable. Everyone waited with bated breath to learn more about the new restaurant opening in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. With personal assets […]