Business Finance

The Business Finance Program offers flexible financing for new or existing businesses to support the region's economy and help borrowers to retain and create new jobs. Last year, the program closed 25 loans to assist 6 start-ups and 19 business expansions including five loans to nonprofit organizations.


business finance

Two businesses add new texture to an old downtown corner

In Aitkin, MN, vintage brick buildings line the main streets and the Mississippi River meanders past. It is a rural small town, yes, but also a bustling county seat. In 2019, two new businesses reimagined an old corner of downtown Aitkin. The Northland Foundation and Security State Bank were there with key financing support.

Chef Peter Lowe returned to his hometown in 2018 after 15 years spent catering for the film industry. Lowe connected with a couple of partners, Dake Olson and Rich Courtemanche, to open the taps on a dream: a restaurant and craft brewery. The trio transformed a former furniture store into the rustic-modern Block North Brewpub & Eatery, where customers enjoy the mouthwatering menu of handcrafted food and brewed-on-site beer.

Meanwhile, just next door, Matt Doucette gutted the interior of another tired building. With the closure of Shopko in Aitkin, hundreds of customers lost their only nearby source of prescriptions. Doucette, a pharmacist working one county over, saw a chance to help. The Aitkin GuidePoint Pharmacy opened in July. Doucette is filling a critical local need – and prescriptions – with a smile.



Business Finance Summary

Total Loans: 25
Dollar Total: $2,018,472
Dollars Leveraged: $10,276,494
Jobs Created/Maintained: 171

One Roof Community Housing, Duluth

American Indian Community Housing Organization, Duluth

DBS Properties of Minnesota, LLC d/b/a DBS Basement Solutions, Duluth

Stern Assembly, Inc., Hoyt Lakes

Centa Properties, LLC, d/b/a Autobahn Service and Repair

Hoops Brewing Company, LLC, Duluth

Alucab, LLC d/b/a Aluminum Cabinet Company, Duluth

P&R Properties Twin Ports, LLC, Duluth

American Indian Community Housing Organization, Duluth

Northern Lights Surveying Services, Inc., Virginia

Spokengear GBC, Inc., Two Harbors

24 Properties, LLC/24 Hour Bookkeeper, Inc., Hibbing

Ground Effects Excavating, Inc., Saginaw


Hanzell Co. d/b/a Cedarbrook Lumber, Aitkin

SOAR Career Solutions, Duluth

Spirit of the Lake Community School, Duluth

Hanzell Co. d/b/a Cedarbrook Lumber, Aitkin

CAST Corporation, Hibbing

MNSTAR Technologies, Inc., Grand Rapids

Rapids Brewing Company, Grand Rapids

Northern Skin Rejuvenation, International Falls

Wired2Fish, Inc., Grand Rapids

Block North, LLC d/b/a Block North Brewpub & Eatery, Aitkin

Pharmasea Breeze, LLC d/b/a GuidePoint Pharmacy, Aitkin

Negley Properties, LLC d/b/a Rural Living Environments, Babbitt


Technical Advisory Committee

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

William M. Arrezzo
Senior Vice President and Private Banking Manager
National Bank of Commerce

Jeff Borling
Economic Development Lead
Great River Energy

Janelle Greschner
Director of Business Recruitment
Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation




Brian Murphy
Chief Lending Officer
North Shore Bank of Commerce

Deb Otto
Bremer Bank

Curt Walczak
UMD Center for Economic Development

Kurt Werner
Executive Vice President
Woodland Bank