This post is part of a series of posts designed to help you acquire a loan for your small business. The following posts cover methods for public financing of your small business

Urban Initiative Program

(651) 259-7424

The Urban Initiative Board has established partnerships with local and neighborhood organizations in the Twin Cities to provide loans to new and expanding businesses in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and suburbs (Anoka, Blaine, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, Crystal, Fridley, Hopkins, Lauderdale, Lexington, New Hope, Osseo, Richfield, St. Anthony, St. Francis, St. Louis Park, Spring Park, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul). State funds are generally used to match other private sources.

Loans are in the range of $1,000 to $150,000. Loans may be made to retail businessess but state participation is limited to $25,000. The program will focus on minority business enterprises, defined by statute to include minority and women owned and operated enterprises and other businesses creating jobs for minority and other persons in low-income areas.

Eligible enterprises include start-up and expanding businesses, particularly manufacturing enterprises and others which create quality wages for their employees. Loan funds may be used for normal business expenses such as machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, new construction, working capital, renovation and site acquisition. Funds cannot be used to refinance existing debt.

Community partners of the Urban Initiative Program are also connected to management training and other sources of assistance available to businesses. Contact the Urban Initiative Program at the number above to identify the group or groups which might best suit your needs.

Ineligible businesses are liquor stores, bars, smoke shops and adult entertainment.

CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.