Startup and Small Business Resources
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- Small Business Assistance Office is your first point of contact for individuals and firms with questions about the startup, operation, or expansion of a business in Minnesota. They offer numerous publications and informational videos.
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide no cost, one-on-one business consulting, group training, and assistance in securing capital. They serve all types and stages of businesses. Over 30 service centers located across the state.
- Small Business Partnerships Program. DEED has partnered with organizations to provide high quality free or low cost professional business development and technical assistance services. Many of these organizations also provide additional services such as loan capital.
- Launch Minnesota is a collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation. The statewide network, organized in a hub-and-spoke model with 80+ partners, works together to create strong regional networks to help entrepreneurs start and scale.
- Other Launch MN resources: Statewide Calendar of training, webinars and events, Friday Forum to connect with startup community.
- Entrepreneur and Small Business Support Organizations Directory. Explore resources and services that Minnesota offers to entrepreneur and small businesses and use the filters to find support organizations to match your needs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Indian Business Loan Program supports the development of Indian-owned and operated businesses in Minnesota and promotes economic opportunities for Indian 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.
- 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
- SciTech connects college students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines with paid internships in small to mid-sized Minnesota businesses. Companies receive assistance finding qualified candidates and a $1:$1 matching stipend to cover 50% of the intern's wages (capped at $2,500) when they hire a student through SciTech.
- Job Training Incentive Program provides grants to new or expanding businesses located in Greater Minnesota for the purposes of training workers as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Automation Training Incentive Program provides grants of up to $35,000 to existing businesses for the express purpose of training incumbent workers as quickly and effectively as possible on new automation technology. The program is available to existing businesses located in Greater Minnesota that are investing in new automation technology at the project location.
- MN Job Skills Partnership Program provides training for both new and existing employees of participating businesses throughout the state.
- A quick overview of DEED's Resources for Startups and Small Businesses.
- 5 Steps to Start Your Business in Minnesota.
- A complete listing of DEED's Economic and Community Development Programs.
- To be notified when additional SSBCI programs are announced over the next few months, sign up today.