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2010 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute chapter. Also view the most recent published version.


Subdivision 1.Purpose.

The Minnesota investment fund is created to provide financial and technical assistance, through partnership with communities, for the creation of new employment or to maintain existing employment, and for business start-up, expansions, and retention. It shall accomplish these goals by the following means:

(1) creation or retention of permanent private-sector jobs in order to create above-average economic growth consistent with environmental protection, which includes investments in technology and equipment that increase productivity and provide for a higher wage;

(2) stimulation or leverage of private investment to ensure economic renewal and competitiveness;

(3) increasing the local tax base, based on demonstrated measurable outcomes, to guarantee a diversified industry mix;

(4) improving the quality of existing jobs, based on increases in wages or improvements in the job duties, training, or education associated with those jobs;

(5) improvement of employment and economic opportunity for citizens in the region to create a reasonable standard of living, consistent with federal and state guidelines on low- to moderate-income persons; and

(6) stimulation of productivity growth through improved manufacturing or new technologies, including cold weather testing.

Subd. 2.Administration.

The commissioner shall administer the fund as part of the Small Cities Development Block Grant Program. Funds shall be made available to local communities and recognized Indian tribal governments in accordance with the rules adopted for economic development grants in the small cities community development block grant program, except that all units of general purpose local government are eligible applicants for Minnesota investment funds. The commissioner may also make funds available within the department for eligible expenditures under subdivision 3, clause (2). A home rule charter or statutory city, county, or town may loan or grant money received from repayment of funds awarded under this section to a regional development commission, other regional entity, or statewide community capital fund as determined by the commissioner, to capitalize or to provide the local match required for capitalization of a regional or statewide revolving loan fund.

Subd. 3.Eligible expenditures.

The money appropriated for this section may be used to:

(1) fund grants for infrastructure, loans, loan guarantees, interest buy-downs, and other forms of participation with private sources of financing, provided that a loan to a private enterprise must be for a principal amount not to exceed one-half of the cost of the project for which financing is sought;

(2) fund strategic investments in renewable energy market development, such as low interest loans for renewable energy equipment manufacturing, training grants to support renewable energy workforce, development of a renewable energy supply chain that represents and strengthens the industry throughout the state, and external marketing to garner more national and international investment into Minnesota's renewable sector. Expenditures in external marketing for renewable energy market development are not subject to the limitations in clause (1); and

(3) provide private entrepreneurs with training, other technical assistance, and financial assistance, as provided in the small cities development block grant program.

Subd. 4.Eligible projects.

Assistance must be evaluated on the existence of the following conditions:

(1) creation of new jobs, retention of existing jobs, or improvements in the quality of existing jobs as measured by the wages, skills, or education associated with those jobs;

(2) increase in the tax base;

(3) the project can demonstrate that investment of public dollars induces private funds;

(4) the project can demonstrate an excessive public infrastructure or improvement cost beyond the means of the affected community and private participants in the project;

(5) the project provides higher wage levels to the community or will add value to current workforce skills;

(6) the project supports the development of microenterprises, as defined by federal statutes, through financial assistance, technical assistance, advice, or business services;

(7) whether assistance is necessary to retain existing business;

(8) whether assistance is necessary to attract out-of-state business; and

(9) the project promotes or advances the green economy as defined in section 116J.437.

A grant or loan cannot be made based solely on a finding that the conditions in clause (7) or (8) exist. A finding must be made that a condition in clause (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) also exists.

Applications recommended for funding shall be submitted to the commissioner.

Subd. 5.Grant limits.

A Minnesota investment fund grant may not be approved for an amount in excess of $1,000,000. This limit covers all money paid to complete the same project, whether paid to one or more grant recipients and whether paid in one or more fiscal years. A local community or recognized Indian tribal government may retain 20 percent, but not more than $100,000 of a Minnesota investment fund grant when it is repaid to the local community or recognized Indian tribal government by the person or entity to which it was loaned by the local community or Indian tribal government. Money repaid to the state must be credited to a Minnesota investment revolving loan account in the state treasury. Funds in the account are appropriated to the commissioner and must be used in the same manner as are funds appropriated to the Minnesota investment fund. Funds repaid to the state through existing Minnesota investment fund agreements must be credited to the Minnesota investment revolving loan account effective July 1, 2005. A grant or loan may not be made to a person or entity for the operation or expansion of a casino or a store which is used solely or principally for retail sales. Persons or entities receiving grants or loans must pay each employee total compensation, including benefits not mandated by law, that on an annualized basis is equal to at least 110 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four.

Subd. 6.Sports facility.

A Minnesota investment fund grant or loan cannot be used for a project related to a sports facility. For the purpose of this subdivision, "sports facility" means a building that has a professional sports team as a principal tenant.

Subd. 7.Contractual obligation.

A business receiving Minnesota investment fund grants must demonstrate why the grant is necessary for a project and enter into an agreement with the local grantor. The agreement, among other things, must obligate the recipient to pay the minimum compensation set by this section and meet job creation or job enhancement goals. A recipient that breaches the agreement must repay the grant directly to the commissioner. Repayments under this subdivision must be deposited in the Minnesota investment revolving loan account. If the commissioner determines, during the repayment period of a Minnesota investment fund loan, that the project for which the loan was made is in imminent danger of ceasing operations due to financial difficulties, the commissioner may elect to delay loan payments due on the loan for a period of no more than two years. In making a determination about whether a recipient qualifies for possible delay in payments, the commissioner must consider all available information regarding the health of the affected business and the industry in which it operates, the potential for displacement of workers in the event that operations cease, and the likelihood that a delay of payments will provide the business with a reasonable ability to improve its financial condition.

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