Financial Packages


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North Dakota is strategically positioned with financial investments to assist new and expanding businesses to enhance profitability. The state has specifically designed its business and investment programs to deliver quicker, quality service along with more capital during a company's start-up, expansion or relocation.

North Dakota provides a collaborative effort between federal, state and private sector resources. Through a coordinated plan, partnering entities deliver convenient access to numerous financial assistance programs.

Commerce Packages

Commerce offers a variety of financial package programs through its divisions.

Innovation Technology Loan Fund (LIFT)

The Innovation Technology Loan Fund (LIFT) is an innovation loan fund that supports technology advancement by providing financing for commercialization of intellectual property within the state of North Dakota.  

Learn more about Innovation Technology Loan Fund

Innovate ND

Innovate ND is a voucher and grant program available to entrepreneurs in North Dakota.

Learn more about Innovate ND

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The CDBG program awards funds to communities for real property, site improvements and infrastructure, and as a guarantee to fund working capital. CDBG is designed to assist primary sector and retail sector businesses looking to establish or expand in communities and can be debt or equity.

Learn more about Community Development Block Grant

North Dakota Development Fund (NDDF)

Primary sector businesses can secure up to $3,000,000 in financial assistance for use in real estate, equipment, and working capital through the NDDF. The Development Fund provides "gap" financing not available from more traditional sources. Funds are available through direct loans, participation loans, subordinated debt and equity investments. These options provide long-term and short-term capital to new, expanding or relocating primary sector businesses.

Learn more about North Dakota Development Fund

Bank of North Dakota

The Bank of North Dakota (BND) is the only entity of its kind in the nation - a state-owned bank dedicated to promoting commerce, industry and agriculture. BND offers numerous low-interest loan programs in collaboration with a lead lender to meet the financing needs of most any new or expanding business.

Starting or expanding a business can be challenging in many areas such as location, workforce, equipment and financing. BND offers many financing services that can help those challenges become easier to handle.

Financing is the focus of the BND efforts to stimulate economic development in the state for both business and agricultural lending services. It offers a variety of programs in each area. 

Business Financing Services

Beginning Entrepreneur Loan Guarantee Program
This program is designed to assist in business start-up financing by providing a financial institution with an 85% guaranty of a loan not to exceed $100,000.

Biofuels PACE
Biofuels PACE (Biofuels Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion) was established to buy down the interest rate on loans to biodiesel and ethanol production facilities, and livestock operations.

Business Development Loan Program
The Business Development Loan Program is designed to assist new and existing businesses in obtaining loans that would have a higher degree of risk than would normally be acceptable to a lending institution. The total outstanding amount under this program by BND may not exceed $25 million.

Commercial Bank Participation Program
Commercial Bank Participation Program is founded on principles that all loans should serve legitimate credit needs of the State and be made on a sound and collectible basis. BND will consider a broad range of loan applications. Specific equity requirements have not been established. Each loan will be reviewed on its own merits. Adequate collateral will generally be required to protect the interest of BND.

Flex PACE Program
Flex PACE was designed to provide interest buy down to non-PACE qualifying businesses where the Community determines eligibility and accountability standards. Flex PACE targets essential community businesses without the job creation requirement.

Agricultural Financing Services

Agriculture Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion (Ag PACE)
This program has been established to buy down the interest rate on loans to farmers who are investing in other nontraditional agriculture activities to supplement farm income.

Beginning Farmer Farm Loans (Revolving Loan Fund)
The Beginning Farmer Loan Programs assist the farmer and rancher in the first time purchase of farm real estate and/or the purchase of equipment and livestock. Each qualified applicant is eligible for a $250,000 loan from the Real Estate Loan Program and $250,000 loan from the Chattel Loan Program.

Biofuels PACE
Biofuels PACE (Biofuels Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion) was established to buy down the interest rate on loans to biodiesel and ethanol production facilities, and livestock operations.

Established Farmer Real Estate Loan Program
The Established Farmer Real Estate Loan Program assists the farmer and rancher with agricultural real estate loans. The bank may make direct loans to farmers for agricultural purposes. The borrower must be a North Dakota resident.

Family Farm Loan Program
The North Dakota legislature has developed a program to help family farms. This program allows BND to participate in loans for qualified purposes up to 90% of the loan amount.

Farm and Ranch Participation Program
This program follows the principles of BND's participation loan program, that all loans should: 1) Serve the legitimate credit needs of the State; and 2) Be made on a sound and collectible basis. The total loans and extensions outstanding at any one time to a single borrower may not exceed 15% of BND's total capital. All loans are reviewed in accordance with BND's lending policies and sound banking practices including, but not limited to, the intended purpose of the loan, the ability to repay, the operation and its management and the feasibility of the project.

Farm Operating Loan Program
The North Dakota legislature has established a loan program to assist with farm operating loans. The bank may participate in farm operating loans with the minimum requirements for eligibility as a "farmer".

Farm Real Estate Loan Guarantee Program
This program is designed to assist farmers with the purchase or the restructuring of agricultural real estate loans by providing a financial institution with a 75% guarantee of total loans that do not exceed $400,000 to an individual borrower. The bank may guarantee loans for the purchase of agricultural real estate or the restructuring of agricultural real estate loans to North Dakota residents by banks, credit unions, lending associations that are part of the farm credit system, and savings and loan associations in the state of North Dakota.

First Time Farmer Finance Program
The North Dakota First Time Farmer Finance program (NDFTFFP) is a tax-exempt bond program designed to assist first-time farmers in the state to acquire agricultural property at lower interest rates. BND, acting as the Farm Finance Agency, determines the eligibility of the applicant and also approves and issues the bond. The bond will then be assigned to a Bond Purchaser which typically is a financial institution or contract holder. Since the interest received by the Bond Purchaser is exempt from state and federal tax, the interest rate to the first-time farmer is at a lower rate.

Flex PACE Program
Flex PACE was designed to provide interest buy down to non-PACE qualifying businesses where the community determines eligibility and accountability standards. Flex PACE targets essential community businesses without the job creation requirement.

Government Guaranteed Loan Purchase Program
The Government Guaranteed Loan Purchase Program (FSA or Rural Development) has been designed at BND to provide interest rate assistance to borrowers that are experiencing cash flow difficulties. The bank may purchase the guaranteed portion of a term loan guaranteed by the Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, or Small Business Administration.

Livestock Waste Management System Loan Program
The primary purpose of this program is to reduce and/or prevent water quality impacts associated with livestock waste by providing low interest financial assistance to livestock producers for installing waste management facilities. Eligibility will be determined by approval of applications by the North Dakota Department of Health.

Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion (PACE)
One of the most attractive programs is the Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion (PACE) fund, an interest buy down loan program that is available to primary sector business including manufacturing, data processing, communications, telecommunications and targeted service industries.

The PACE Fund is designed to assist North Dakota communities in expanding their economic base by providing for new job development. The PACE Program is available to finance the purchase of equipment or real estate, as well as term working capital. In conjunction with community support, the program provides an interest buy down that can reduce the borrower's overall interest rate.

Value-Added Agriculture Equity Loan Program (ENVEST)
The ENVEST Program provides a below market interest rate for North Dakota farmers and businessmen to purchase shares in start up or expanding agricultural processing facilities.

MATCH Program
The MATCH program is designed to encourage and attract financially strong companies, "A" rated or equivalent. Loan funds may be used to finance real estate, machinery and equipment, and for the purchase or lease of equipment. The program targets manufacturing, processing and value-added industries.


USDA/SBA Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) offer a variety of financing programs for companies. Rural Development focuses on loan guarantees, grants and direct loans; SBA offers lending, guaranty and equity investment programs.

Several programs exist within the Rural Development Business-Cooperative Programs for businesses:

The Small Business Administration's (SBA) finance programs enhance the ability of lenders to provide long- and short-term loans to small businesses that might not qualify through normal lending channels. There are four basic types of SBA lending, guaranty and equity investment programs available:

Public Finance Authority

The North Dakota Public Finance Authority offers many financing programs and options to new and growing businesses.

Industrial Development Bond Program

Under its Industrial Development Bond Program (IDB), the Authority makes loans to manufacturers that qualify as small issue manufacturers. Qualified small issue manufacturers are defined within the Internal Revenue Code as "Any facility which is used in the manufacturing or production of tangible personal property including the process resulting in a change in the condition of such property." Within that definition, the qualifying organizations must also meet a capital spending requirement. As part of the legislation that approved the IDB, the Authority is limited to $2,000,000 per project.

The interest rates paid by a qualifying manufacturer are market rates which are set through a competitive bid process when the Authority issues and sells its program bonds to fund the loan. The interest rates paid by the Authority on its program bonds are the same rates the manufacturer will pay on its loan to the Authority. For manufacturers that qualify, the IDB provides an opportunity to finance fixed assets (buildings and equipment) with tax-exempt long-term fixed rates.

The IDB has been assigned a rating of "A+" by Standard & Poors Rating Group.

For more information on these programs, contact the ND Public Finance Authority via email or call 701-328-7100.

Business Incentives Database

North Dakota offers many finance programs and tax incentives which benefit primary sector businesses and other corporations. Commerce is responsible for certifying primary sector businesses and this certification is required for several tax incentives. 
The business incentive area has now been upgraded to allow you to search our database.  You will find information in three categories: Financing, Tax Incentives and Training. Information is available on the local, state and federal level.  Please note that each incentive has its own specific set of requirements so not every option will meet the needs of your project
If you need immediate assistance with your project, please call our Business Development Team at 701-328-5300.

Business Incentive Database

Local Economic Development Programs

Many communities and counties in North Dakota have economic developers. These developers are supported by boards of directors that include community leaders. This means the people your business needs to succeed already understand and support economic development opportunities available to you.

In addition, more than 80 communities have in place a one percent sales tax that can be used as economic development revenue for staffing, marketing, loan programs and other development incentives.

For example, one county paid 80 percent of a maximum-interest buy-down for a company expansion. The city paid the remaining 20 percent for a total of $120,000. This joint effort enabled the bank to provide a $1.25 million loan at an effective interest rate of 1.5 percent.

Contact Commerce for a list of developers at (701) 328-5300.

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