Business Grants and Loans in North Dakota: Funding for Your North Dakota Business

While North Dakota isn’t the most populous state, small businesses play an important role in the local economy. In fact, small businesses represent almost 99 percent of all businesses within state borders. If you own a business in North Dakota, or you’re considering starting one, look through the list below. These funding options are only available to North Dakota-based businesses. Read through to discover if your business is eligible.  

Department or Agency: North Dakota Department of Commerce

Grant title: Destination Development Grant

The Destination Development Grant program was created to support the expansion or development of enhanced or unique tourism experiences in North Dakota. For-profit and non-profit tourism organizations are encouraged to apply if their projects fall within the allowable categories

  • Accommodations, other than traditional hotels, motels, or short-term homestays
  • Culinary experiences if associated with tours, events, or larger tourism projects
  • Themed education and entertainment attractions 
  • Recreational experiences 
  • AgriTourism stays
  • Niche activities that provide value-added experiences, such as those that are historical, cultural, scenic, etc. 

Grants require matching funds from non-state sources and should range from $245,000 to $5 million. There is a limited grant window to apply that ends on August 31, 2023. If you miss it, keep an eye on the website to find out when the grant portal reopens.

Department or Agency: North Dakota Department of Commerce

Loan or Grant title: Innovate ND

Innovate ND is a state-funded voucher program that supports North Dakota entrepreneurs in need of customer and market research. Organized in four phases, each participant must complete each entrepreneurship coaching stage to advance to progressively larger awards. Phases 1 through 3 offer reimbursements for expenses incurred at the Entrepreneurship Center, ranging from $2,000 in Phase 1 to $12,000 in Phase 3. Phase 4 is a grant program up to $20,000 requiring a minimum match of $5,000. 

Applications are open for a narrow window, and once funding is depleted, the program closes. Monitor the program website for information about the latest funding round.

Department or Agency: North Dakota Department of Commerce

Loan or Grant title: Legacy Investment for Technology Loan Fund

The Legacy Investment for Technology (LIFT) Fund supports technology advancement by funding the commercialization of intellectual property in the state of North Dakota. Loans are limited to target industries which include advanced computing, agricultural technology, energy, healthcare, and others that are detailed on the program website. Funds can be used for research, experimentation, and operational testing within the state. Approved applicants will work with the Bank of North Dakota to structure loans, which feature 0% interest for the first three years and 2% interest for the next two years. All principal is due at maturity, at the end of five years. See the program webpage for more information.

Department or Agency: North Dakota Department of Commerce

Loan or Grant title: North Dakota Development Fund

The North Dakota Development Fund is a gap financing program for new or established North Dakota businesses. Any “primary sector” business is eligible to apply. Primary sector is defined as any corporation, association, LLC, or partnership owned by a North Dakota resident that primarily does business or production in the state. Owners must have at least a 15% equity stake in the business. The upper funding limit is $3 million, with the average loan being $300,000. Acceptable uses include working capital, fixed asset purchases, real estate or equipment buying, expanding facilities, and purchasing inventory. See the frequently asked questions webpage for more information.

Department or Agency: Bank of North Dakota and North Dakota Commerce

Loan or Grant title: Agriculture Diversity and Development Fund 

The Agriculture Diversification and Development Fund (ADD) supports new or expanding value-added businesses that show promise of financial feasibility and enable farmers and ranchers to boost their own profitability. The program also seeks to create jobs and boost the North Dakota economy. To be eligible, businesses must be majority-owned by North Dakota residents. Permitted projects include food production and processing facilities, feed or pet food processing facilities, commodity processing, agricultural product manufacturers, and animal production facilities. Loans may be used to purchase or lease equipment and to start or expand a value-added agriculture business. See the program webpage for information about terms and to apply.

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