business finance

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. Last year, 21 loans were made to assist 9 start-ups and 11 business expansions in the region.


Erik and Jessica Lietz:
a Booming New Business in Hibbing

What makes an entrepreneur tick? Seeing an opportunity and having the courage to act on it. Jessica and Erik Lietz are a prime example. This young northeastern Minnesota couple shares a bold vision and a risk-taking spirit.

The BoomTown Brewery & Woodfire Grill rang in the new year as a new business, opening December 31, 2017. It is the city of Hibbing’s first brewpub but the Lietz’s third restaurant. First they bought the Whistling Bird in Gilbert, then created the BoomTown Woodfire Grill in nearby Eveleth.

With a beautiful brick building available on Hibbing’s historic main street, the couple looked, then leaped again, this time into craft brewing.

Starting a brewpub requires big investments like hiring a skilled brew master and buying costly equipment. Besides adding a brewing room, Erik and Jessica also planned to renovate the whole interior. The Northland Foundation stepped up to the bar (so to speak) providing a Community Advantage SBA loan for brewing equipment to help the Lietzs seal the deal.

“The first nine months have been busy and positive,” says Jess. “Everyone in Hibbing is so welcoming.”

As for the future, “You see an opportunity and you go for it,” said Erik with a smile. Spoken like a true entrepreneur.


business finance


Total Loans: 21
Dollar Total: $2,053,980
Dollars Leveraged: $16.4 million
Jobs Created/Maintained: 281


Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a BoomTown, Hibbing

PureDriven, LLC, Two Harbors

Earth Rider Brewing, LLC, Superior

Horizon HCS, Duluth

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Finland

Archer Properties, LLC, Two Harbors

Lux Fitness, LLC, Hibbing

Alta Land Survey Company, P.C., Duluth

KMDA, Inc., Bovey

DC Testing, LLC, Superior

BC Cleveland Properties d/b/a Silver Tip - Custom Life Clothing, Grand Rapids

E. Sheridan Properties, LLC, Historic Ely State Theater, Ely

URSA Minor Brewing, LLC, Duluth

Gemini Custom Brands, Inc., Grand Rapids

Duluth Cider, LLC, Duluth

Negley Properties, LLC, Babbitt

Aunty's Child Care, LLC, Duluth


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

William M. Arrezzo
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

*Tom VanHale retired from the Technical Advisory Committee in July 2018.

Northland Foundation