Grand Forks Growth Fund handles lending to local businesses – Grand Forks Herald


GRAND FORKS – A handful of companies were represented at the Grand Forks Growth Fund meeting on Monday asking for a variety of types of help with their businesses.

The panel said Snack Shack’s current loan to Start-Up Grand Forks was in default and written off as uncollectible “at this time.”

The company has been authorized to extend the payment deferral on a $17,798 Start-Up Grand Forks loan and $8,899 in matching funds from the North Dakota Development Fund (NDDF) to purchase and equip the equipment needed to establish a mobile food vending operation last March. Committee action does not resolve the debt if the business is able to reopen.

The business made its first on-time payment in April 2021, but owner Jeff Holt said the business suffered negative COVID-related impacts. Payments were deferred through the JDA’s three-month COVID-19 forbearance option, moving the next payment date to August 1, 2021, but no payments were received for the next three months. Holt said in October that his trailer was damaged in transit and was unusable, preventing it from staying open. The business has no assets, liquid or otherwise, to repay the loan.

Holt sent a letter to the committee outlining the issues his company was having and thanking the committee for their assistance.

“First of all, I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped make the Snack Shack a reality,” Holt said in the letter. “Our business plan is solid and time spent on events in 2021 has shown steady growth in sales. A business dream has come true, and my wife and I are grateful.

In other news:

  • Airial Robotics, maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, was in attendance as it was approved for a loan application with a convertible note option. The company uses a hybrid gyrocopter/helicopter to enable commercial aerial logistics, inspection and surveillance activities. The company works with UND and NDSU on research and development while partnering with Airtonomy and other companies on various projects. Airial Robotics has a virtual office in the Innovation Center and plans to move its four employees to a physical office this summer. It also plans to grow to 10 employees by the end of the year. The term of the loan, totaling a maximum of $250,000 per borrower, is five years with the first three years interest-free and payment-free. The last two years will be at 2% interest without any payment. A lump sum payment will be due at the end of the term.
  • Chino Latino has been approved for a $30,000 loan for Start-Up Grand Forks. The restaurant currently operates via drive-thru only at Scotty’s Deli’s former location at 1113 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks. The loan deal technically went through Steers, which is owned by Dean, as Chino Latino is technically an offshoot of the restaurant and not a completely separate entity and is described as a sort of “permanent food truck.”

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