Who qualifies for USDA business loans & grants in Minnesota?

Who qualifies for USDA business loans & grants in Minnesota? Main Photo

17 Jan 2023


We are regularly asked, “Who qualifies for USDA business loans and grants in Minnesota?” Great River Energy’s economic development team and our member-owner cooperatives can answer that question on a one-on-one basis by reviewing the needs of your business. In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • USDA loans are for businesses in rural areas with populations less than 50,000. That means that if your business is in a populated city, like St. Paul, you are unlikely to qualify. 
  • USDA business loan and grant programs are designed to help stimulate economic growth by creating jobs. That means that the project should ultimately result in more jobs being created in addition to temporary construction jobs. 
  • Priority may be given to projects that help to diversify the local economy, create changes in the local economy and have a high probability of success. 

Important Details on USDA Business Loans & Grants in Minnesota

A fantastic benefit for small businesses is that cooperatives participating in the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) Program have often established revolving loan funds which can offer loans of as little as $10,000. Typically, it can be difficult to get a small loan, but not through the USDA-backed revolving loan funds. That means that if you have one piece of equipment to buy - a loan from your cooperative’s USDA-backed revolving loan fund could be ideal for you. Simultaneously, pass-though loans administered by a participating cooperative can provide an expanding business with a loan of up to $2,000,000, so larger projects may also qualify. 

The USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program in Minnesota can also be used for diverse purposes that include building a new facility, expanding an existing one, buying equipment, and uses that can be directly tied to business expansion. To find out if your project qualifies, contact Tom Lambrecht, Erin Sparks, or Jeff Borling.