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Greater FM EDC Releases Latest Version of the SmartBook

September 14, 2021 | Bylgnelson| News

The GFMEDC has recently produced an updated version of our SmartBook to incorporate the newest legislative and program changes including in both North Dakota and Minnesota.

Our organization helped provide testimony and advocacy during recent legislative session that led to a number of the enhancements and improvements listed below.

New Program highlights (ND Dept. of Commerce):
  • Agriculture Diversification and Development Fund – $10 million fund that provides loans, interest rate buydowns, or grants to support new or expanding value-added agriculture businesses that demonstrate financial feasibility, enhance profitability for farmers and ranchers, create jobs, and grow the state’s economy.
  • North Dakota Growth Fund – $100 million multi-stage investment fund that will seek to invest in North Dakota businesses and entrepreneurs.
Other program enhancements and highlights (ND)
  • Operation Intern – $4,000 in matching funds – Applications will be accepted starting on Feb. 1, 2022.
  • Career Builders – Student Loan Repayment has been expanded to now cover student loans from out of state.
  • APUC – has been expanded to now also include machinery
  • LIFT Fund – refunded at $15 million
  • Bioscience Innovation Grant – refunded at $5 million
  • North Dakota Development Fund – maximum funding limit increased from $1 million to $3 million
  • Automation Tax Credit (21ST CENTURY MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE INCENTIVE) – program sunsets (expires) in 2022
New Programs highlights (MN DEED)
  • AGRI Value-Added Grant – helps Minnesota processors add value to Minnesota agricultural products by investing in the purchase of equipment, production capacity, market diversification, and market access for value-added products. The maximum award is $150,000, and the minimum award is $1,000.
  • SCITECH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM – connects STEM college students to paid internships that provide rewarding hands-on experience in small Minnesota businesses. Companies receive assistance finding qualified candidates and a $1:$1 wage match to cover 50% of the intern’s wages (capped at $2,500) when they hire a student through SciTech.
Other program enhancements and highlights (MN)
  • 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 GFMEDC cannot emphasize enough the importance of engaging with our staff early and often, especially when considering major expansion or capital investments.

The GFMEDC has many examples of companies who were unable to leverage available programs because of inadequate timing or other process missteps or qualification issues.

For example, a company must ensure they are primary-sector certified before applying for the Automation Tax Credit.

Another example is a company must complete an application for North Dakota New Jobs grant program before hiring any personnel or those hires become ineligible for the grant.

The GFMEDC works hard to understand the details and nuances of the various state and local economic development programs.

Thanks to our SmartBook sponsor, Bremer Bank.