In an effort to further enhance the strong business presence in downtown Bemidji, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has established a new fund with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) that will offer loans up to $5,000. The mission of the revolving loan program is to assist businesses in either locating downtown or expanding their downtown business.

The loans are available to any business looking to locate or expand in downtown Bemidji. “This is an excellent opportunity to increase awareness about the Downtown Development Authority and our important work,” said DDA President Ken Cobb. “We already have a great downtown, and we are always working to make it even better.  Our mission is to promote and enhance our vibrant downtown, and this loan program will encourage businesses to locate and expand here.”

Loans can be used for building improvements, equipment, inventory, supplies, and working capital. The business must maintain (DDA) membership throughout the term of the loan. “This is a great partnership opportunity with NMF and the DDA,” said Business Development Officer, Diane Morey. “In some cases, a DDA loan can be paired with a loan from our own in-house microloan program. This leveraging can bring more options and flexibility to the business owner, which was a priority in this partnership.”

The DDA Loan Committee will meet as needed to approve applications. Businesses must reflect and complement the character of downtown Bemidji, as interpreted by the committee. Applications can be found online at under Business Development on the Entrepreneur Development Program page. 


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