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Establishing and expanding small businesses are expensive endeavors. Even the most successful entrepreneurs need help accessing new funding streams. Through grants, loans, and tax credits, DEED makes millions of dollars available to Minnesota's small businesses each year. The Office of Small Business Development also provides grants to organizations that directly support businesses start and scale.

Loan Programs within DEED

Automation Loan Participation Program. DEED will make companion loans to fill gap financing needs for small manufacturers to purchase machinery, equipment, or software to increase productivity and automation. DEED is now accepting proposals from companies.

Growth Loan Fund provides direct loans to early-stage businesses that qualify for the Angel Tax Credit or are working with accredited investors or a VC firm. Loans range from $100,000 to $400,000 based on 20% of the total investment in a defined funding round, not to exceed 12 months. Customers are Minnesota-based early-stage businesses that have raised less than $250,000 or slightly later-stage businesses that are not yet ready for a Series A round.

Native American Business Loan Program supports the development of Native American-owned and operated businesses in Minnesota and promotes economic opportunities for Native American people throughout Minnesota. Covers 75% of project cost up to funds in Minnesota based tribe account. Average loan over the past five years $57,000. Customers are members of a federally recognized Minnesota based band or tribe.

Border Cities Enterprise Zone provides business tax credits (property tax credits, sales tax credit on construction equipment and materials, new or existing employee credits) to qualifying businesses that are the source of investment, job creation or retention in the border cities of Breckenridge, Dilworth, East Grand Forks, Moorhead, and Ortonville, as well as in the Development Zone of Taylor's Falls. Financial assistance amount is determined by the respective city pursuant to published program guidelines.

Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program provides business loans to companies that are affected when certain employees are called to active military duty and to individual veterans who have returned from active duty and want to start their own business.

Loan Programs with DEED Partners and Lenders

Emerging Entrepreneur Loan provides loans to businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. DEED provides funding to certified non-profit lenders who make loans ranging from $5,000 to $150,000. Most loans require a 1:1 match from private sources. Customers are small businesses majority owned and operated by one or more women, veterans, or BIPOC, low-income or disabled individuals.

Small Business Loan Participation Program. DEED will purchase participations in loans to small businesses made by approved Community Development Financial Institutions and nonprofit lenders. Businesses seeking loans will apply directly with enrolled lenders. DEED is now accepting proposals from lenders.

Minnesota Loan Guarantee Program. DEED will provide 80% loan guarantees for qualified loans made by enrolled lenders; lenders are responsible for setting loan terms. Guarantees up to $800,000 with a .25% guarantee fee on loans enrolled by banks, credit unions, CDFIs and other nonprofit lenders; businesses apply directly with enrolled lenders. Customers are new or existing Minnesota-based small businesses that are eligible under SSBCI guidelines and using funds for eligible business purposes, including working capital and startup costs.

Direct Investment and Multi-Fund Investment Venture Capital Programs make direct investments in Minnesota-based startups, including those at the seed and early-stage.


Launch MN Innovation Grants provides grants to innovative and scalable technology startup businesses in Minnesota. Business Operations Grants up to $35,000 and Matching SBIR/STTR Phase 1 and 2 Grants up to $50,000. Customers are startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process, or service in specified fields.

STEP Grant provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying Minnesota small businesses with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets. Up to $7,500 for approved export-development activities. Customers are companies looking to export their products and services to foreign markets.

Tax Credits

Angel Tax Credit provides a 25% tax credit to investors or investment funds that make equity investments in startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process or service in specified fields. Businesses are eligible for up to $4M in investment via the program. Investors may receive up to $125,000 (filing single) or $250,000 (filing jointly) in tax credits per year for their investments. Customers are businesses, investors and funds; and startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process, or service in specified fields.

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