MAGIC Fund committee recommends investment

City asked to infuse business loan fund

A dwindling business loan fund would get a cash infusion from Minot’s MAGIC Fund under a proposal endorsed by the MAGIC Fund Screening Committee Friday.

The committee is recommending the Minot City Council approve Souris Basin Planning Council’s request for a $805,300 investment into its Business Accelerator Fund, a regional match program for the Bank of North Dakota Flex PACE program. Participation in Flex PACE can reduce the borrower’s interest rate by as much as 5%.

Information from the Minot Area Chamber EDC indicates the Bank of North Dakota has invested more than $25 million in Minot through the Flex PACE program from 2015-2022, of which $24.26 million was invested after the local match became available through the BAF program.

SBPC serves the counties of Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Renville, Pierce and Ward. It established the BAF with $500,000 in 2019 and $500,000 in 2020 from the MAGIC Fund. Another $780,000 was added in 2022.

Since then, roughly $1.63 million has been committed toward 34 business loans, including 29 in Minot, of which 12 have been in downtown Minot, according to information provided to the MAGIC Fund Screening Committee. Funds are expected to be depleted this month. SBPC has an estimate of $573,000 in pending requests with just $142,890 remaining in the program.

Created as a revolving loan fund, BAF will not begin revolving until the first loan payoffs occur in 2024. The average term for existing loans is seven years.


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