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Low-interest loans available for small businesses in area

Nearly $1 million in low-interest loans is available to Minnesota small businesses to help them weather the current economy.

The deadline for applications is September 8.

Applications will be reviewed and loans awarded through Grow Minnesota! - a program of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and local Chamber partners across the state. Funding is provided by the Pohlad Family Foundation.

Grow Minnesota! is the Minnesota Chamber's private-sector business retention and economic development program. It is run in partnership with 45 local Chambers of Commerce and other private-sector economic development organizations statewide.

Loans are limited to $75,000 per applicant and may be used for working capital or to acquire or improve existing assets.

Loan applications and other information are available at Initial applications must be made through the local Grow Minnesota! partners.

Nearly 70 small businesses received more than $4.3 million in a first round of grants and loans funded by the Pohlad Family Foundation. This second round is funded by the Pohlad Foundation and other sources including the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Businesses that were unsuccessful in the first round may reapply through their local Chambers, and other small businesses are encouraged to apply, said Bill Blazar, senior vice president of public affairs and business development at the Minnesota Chamber.

Loans will be awarded in early November. For more information, contact Blazar at (651) 292-4658 or