Have a Food Business in Minneapolis?

Posted on 08/14/2013 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook

The City of Minneapolis, through the department of Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) in partnership with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), has established the Homegrown Business Development Center to provide financing and technical assistance for Minneapolis based businesses that process and manufacture local food products.

The purpose of this program is to foster the development and expansion of business ventures that promote sustainable agriculture and food production within Minneapolis and the surrounding region. To be eligible for loan funds, a minimum of 10% of the business’s product must come from local ingredients. For the purposes of this program, a ‘local ingredient’ must be produced, grown or raised in Minnesota or within approximately 200 miles of Minneapolis.

Minimum Requirements for Eligibility

  •     The business must be located in Minneapolis.
  •     The business must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan and be an acceptable credit risk as determined by MCCD.
  •     An applicant’s property status must be a conforming use or a legal non-conforming use under the City's Zoning Ordinance.
  •     The business must comply with all City, State and Federal Health and Food Safety codes and regulations.

Loan Terms and Conditions

The Center will provide a loan up to $10,000 at a 2% interest rate for a term not to exceed 5 years. Loan Recipients will need to match the Center’s loan. A loan origination fee in the amount of $100 will be collected by MCCD at the time of loan closing. If at any time the business moves out of Minneapolis, the loan will become due immediately.

Eligible Uses

Eligible uses of the Homegrown Business Development Center’s loan funds can include the costs associated with the processing, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of local food products. Each food product will have its own unique life cycle, requiring varying ingredients, packaging, storage conditions, and marketing strategies. Based upon the business’s product, MCCD will determine the eligible use of program funds.

For example, the following would be considered eligible costs depending on the type of business and food product:

Processing and Manufacturing: raw materials, washing and drying of produce, packaging, storage containers, equipment.

Distribution: leasehold improvements, approved off-site storage facilities, logistics equipment.

Marketing: advertising, packaging materials, branding.

Program funds cannot be used to finance finished inventory, vehicles or billboard advertising.

How to Apply

After reviewing the Guide to Starting a Local Food Business in Minneapolis, interested individuals should begin by contacting MCCD to determine eligibility. In addition to submitting a completed loan application, prospective recipients will need to work with MCCD to develop a proposal for the use of funds. MCCD will review the proposal, determine financial viability, and process the loan request.
Contact information

For more information, please contact Kris Maritz at kmaritz@mccdmn.org or (612) 789-7337 x18; or the City of Minneapolis at (612) 673-5072.

All programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice.

Online information from the City of Minneapolis at MinneapolisMN.gov/CPED.