The MPCA provides loans at zero-percent interest to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that help the company meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs associated with the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Common benefits include a healthier workplace, lower waste disposal bills, and reduced regulatory obligations. Projects that go beyond compliance may result in simpler permits and cost savings, and are highly encouraged.
Eligibility and conditions
To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:
- Less than 100 full-time employees
- An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
- A demonstrated ability to repay the loan
Loan terms and conditions:
- Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
- Interest rate: Zero percent (0%)
- Repayment term up to seven years
- Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
- Awarded throughout the year
Application and evaluation
Successful applicants have demonstrated they can repay the loan and that their project will benefit the environment. All project costs must be pre-approved and cannot be incurred until the application process is complete. Borrowers must report on the project's realized environmental and economic benefits.
A screening committee of financial and environmental professionals evaluates each application.
Additional financial resources
- Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
- MN Grants (Minnesota Office of Grants Management)
- U.S. Small Business Administration
Dan Tollefson, owner of Schwegman’s Cleaners (Willmar), used a small business loan to replace an old perc machine with a new hydrocarbon dry-cleaning machine. His investment will save $6,000 per year.
Long-haul trucker Paul Ahles installed a new auxiliary power unit to provide heating/cooling and electricity without having to idle the truck's big engine. Ahles' investment saves him an estimated $500 per month!