Business Finance Program

The Business Finance Program offers flexible financing for new or existing businesses to support a diverse regional economy with family-sustaining jobs.

Natural Harvest Food Co-Op, Inc., Virginia Minnesota

Natural Harvest Food Co-op has been serving the Iron Range city of Virginia and surrounding communities for many years. The member-owned business more than doubled its size and capacity with a move in Spring 2017 to a newly constructed building. From produce, to meat, to an impressive bulk section, the store can now provide a wider selection.

The $3.2 million, bright and energy-efficient store provides 9,000 square feet and is full of healthy food options – much of it locally sourced. There’s a large deli and salad bar, a classroom, and a generous receiving/storage back room that the former location did not have.

Financing for the project was a collaboration. With a roughly $1 million gap between financing from the Co-op’s bank and the project cost, the Northland Foundation stepped in. Not only did Northland contribute to the financing package but also helped bring other development lenders into the deal (Entrepreneur Fund and Shared Capital).

Business has increased dramatically since the move, said Parenteau, including many who stop in for a fresh lunch from the deli. Over the past three years, co-op membership has expanded to more than 3,000 people, with customers traveling from as far away as International Falls.

The larger store has meant more workers. Within a month of opening, employment jumped from 25 to 37, and of those, 20 are full-time. Natural Harvest also offers health insurance and retirement benefits.

“Financing from the Northland Foundation, with our bank and other partners, made our new store a reality,” stated Parenteau.


Business Finance Summary

Total Loans: 23
Dollar total: $2,562,141
Dollars Leveraged:  $15,946,326
Jobs created/maintained: 463

RSF Industries, Inc., Hibbing

Marine Tech, LLC, Duluth

SpokeNgear, Inc., Two Harbors

Natural Harvest Food Co-Op, Inc., Virginia

Van Technologies, Inc., Duluth

Flossy Designs, LLC, Duluth

BIC Services, LLC, Hibbing

Denton Law Office, LLC, Duluth

AVI, LLC d/b/a Boat Club Restaurant, Duluth

OMC Smokehouse, Duluth

MNSTAR Technologies, Inc., Grand Rapids

Twin Ports Dermatology, Inc., Duluth

Hoops Brewing Company, LLC, Duluth

KMK Holdings, LLC, Ely

Men As Peacemakers, Duluth

One Roof Community Housing, Duluth

Vikre Distillery, LLC, Duluth

Dead On Inc./Advanced Services, Inc., Cloquet

One Roof Community Housing, Duluth

My Fathers House, Duluth

One Roof Community Housing, Duluth

Sunrise Bakery, LLC, Hibbing

DRN Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Arrow Lift, Duluth


Technical Advisory Committee

The following individuals provide guidance to the Northland Foundation staff and Board of Trustees in regards to business lending decisions.

William M. Arezzo
Senior Vice President - Private Banking Manager
National Bank of Commerce

Jeff Borling
Economic Development Lead
Great River Energy

Brian Murphy
Chief Lending Officer
North Shore Bank of Commerce

Deb Otto
Market President

Tom VanHale

Curt Walczak
UMD Center for Economic Development

Kurt Werner
Executive Vice President
Woodland Bank