- Port Authority of Winona
- Business Resources
Port Authority Business Assistance
The Port Authority of Winona is the partner for economic development activities in the City of Winona. The Port Authority of Winona has a number of financial resources available to support business innovation, entrepreneurs, and to assist business expansion projects, along with attracting new businesses to the City of Winona.
The Port Authority of Winona also promotes economic development by purchasing, leasing, and selling property, along with conducting property searches for specific business needs. The Port Authority works closely with our local financial institutions to help businesses grow here. Available buildings and land can be viewed here.
Port Authority of Winona Revolving Loan Fund Application (RLF)The Port Authority of Winona RLF is designed to provide matching funds to companies in the City of Winona to assist in business expansion, business retention, and attracting new businesses and entrepreneurs. The Port Authority of Winona RLF provides matching loans ranging from $10,000 to $150,000; not to exceed 50% of projects costs. Please refer to the Port Authority of Winona RLF Guidelines. The RLF is intended to address a gap in the financial package and not act as a replacement to traditional bank lending or business owner equity.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)When a TIF District is created, a base valuation of the property is established. All taxing authorities continue to receive tax revenue from the base valuation. Taxes from increase in assessed value go to the TIF account and pay debt or other financial obligations necessary to complete the redevelopment project. After the obligations are met, the TIF District closes and all taxing authorities benefit from the new, higher valuation.
By State Statute, the Port Authority of Winona can consider establishing a TIF District to support economic development, redevelopment, and housing. When considering establishing a TIF District, the City and Port Authority work with bond counsel and financial advisors to create the TIF district pursuant to Minnesota Statutes.
There are different State Statutes that apply to each type of TIF District. Here are some Basics of TIF.
Tax AbatementWith Tax Abatement, the City rebates its portion of property taxes back to the property owner who then uses it to help offset development costs. Tax abatement is simpler and less restrictive than tax increment financing, and is quite useful for smaller projects.
The City of Winona Council must approve all tax abatements.
The Port Authority of Winona also has access to a variety of other financing and technical assistance resources to help your business succeed. If you or someone you know if looking for resources on how to start a business, look no further! Here’s the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce’s HOW TO START A BUSINESS GUIDE.
Let the experienced Port Authority of Winona staff help customize funding for your future success. Please contact Port Authority of Winona staff for more information about programs that may be available to your business.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
DEED is the state's principal economic development agency. DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development.
Here is a link to DEED’s resource book (PDF)
Winona Area Chamber of Commerce
The Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, ensures that local, businesses of all sizes have access to the resources, opportunities, and workforce talent they need to innovate and sustainably grow. If you or someone you know if looking for resources on how to start a business, Look no further! (PDF)
Launch Minnesota is a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation.
Launch Minnesota Education Grants
Education grants are used to support the start and scale of startups through organizations that promote statewide collaboration, and networking services.
Location and Expansion Assistance
Whether you're looking to expand an existing business, relocate from another state, or need regulatory and permitting guidance for a complex startup, expansion or relocation, our managers have the right background, information, and connections to other state and local agencies to help turn your plans to reality.
Minnesota Business First Stop
Minnesota Business First Stop streamlines the development process for complex business startups, expansions or relocations that involve financing, licensing, permitting and regulatory issues that overlap multiple state agencies.
Small Business Assistance Office
This office helps reduce the expense of starting a business in terms of money, time, expertise, and lost opportunity for startups and established businesses alike by offering individual consultation services along with a comprehensive series of business guidebooks (all free of charge).
Small Business Development Centers
This statewide network of Small Business Development Centers provides professional expertise and guidance for pre-venture and startup stage businesses as well as for established businesses ready to take things to the next level.
Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program (ELP)
ELP provides loan capital for businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. DEED provides funding to certified nonprofit partners to make loans to startup and expanding businesses throughout the state. The program is designed to encourage private investment, provide jobs for minority and low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in low-income areas.
Indian Business Loan Program
This program supports the development of Indian-owned and operated businesses and promotes economic opportunities for Indian people throughout Minnesota. Loan proceeds may cover startup and expansion costs, including normal expenses such as machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, working capital, new construction, renovation and site acquisition.
Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants
Launch Minnesota offers a series of Innovation Grants to entrepreneurs and startups for business operations expenses, housing/child care expenses, and research and development.
Minnesota Investment Fund
This program provides up to $1 million in financing to help add new workers and retain high-quality jobs. The program focuses on industrial, manufacturing and technology-related industries and aims to increase the local and state tax base and improve economic vitality.
Minnesota Job Creation Fund
This program provides financial incentives to new and expanding businesses that meet certain job creation and capital investment targets.
Minnesota 21st Century Fund
This program makes loans or equity investments in innovative mineral, steel, or other industry processing, production, manufacturing, or technology projects located in the taconite relief tax area.
Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program
This program provides business loans to companies that are affected when certain employees are called to active military duty and to individual veterans who have returned from active duty and want to start their own business. Both types of loans provide one-time, interest-free loans of $5,000 to $20,000.
STEP Grant Program: Export Assistance
This matching grant program provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets. Participants may be first-time exporters or companies that are currently exporting but are interested in expanding into new international markets.
Minnesota Foreign Trade Zones
Store goods, assemble products, manufacture or re-export goods without paying Customs duties.
Child Care Economic Development
DEED will award grants to be used to implement solutions to reduce the child care shortage in the state.
SBIR-STTR Federal Funding for High-Tech Companies
Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
The State Small Business Credit Initiative
Minnesota has been approved by the U. S. Department of the Treasury for up to $97 million for small business financing support.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Offers permanent residency to certain foreign investors.
SBA 504 Corporation
The U.S. Small Business Administration 504 program allows small to medium-sized businesses to obtain long-term, fixed rate financing at low rates for up to 20 years. The program is designed to promote economic growth by stimulating small business investment.
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF)
SMIF offers loans to businesses that innovate, particularly those that use this region’s resources to develop high-tech products and services. Loan funds for bio-business, entrepreneurs, and minority-owned businesses are available.
As a collaborative group of private, public and nonprofit partners, we offer an impressive range of innovative services, including one-on-one guidance, training, networking, labor market information and much more. We are a rich resource for anyone, from any walk of life, at any career or recruitment stage.
Minnesota participating businesses must partner with an accredited Minnesota educational institution. Grants of up to $400,000 are awarded to the educational institution to develop and deliver custom training specific to business needs. A cash or in-kind contribution from the participating business must match the grant funds on at least a one-to-one basis.
Projects must include at least one participating business and an accredited Minnesota educational institution or training provider. Grants of up to $400,000 per project may be awarded to develop and deliver training specific to business needs. Cash or in-kind contributions from the participating business(es) must match program funds on at least a one-half to one ratio.
Dual Training Competency Grants
The Dual Training Program is a collaborative of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), The Office of Higher Education (OHE) and DEED. The Program will provide grants to employers or organizations representing the employer to train employees in achieving the competency standard for an occupation identified by the Commissioner of DLI.
Export Education and Training Services
Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) is staffed by experts who offer seminars and events across the state to help small and midsized companies learn how to export goods and services successfully. These training sessions, frequently offered in partnership with other international business specialists, also provide opportunities for networking.
Job Training Incentive Program
This program provides grants of up to $200,000 to new or expanding businesses for the purpose of training new workers as quickly and efficiently as possible. The program is available to businesses located in Greater Minnesota. Grant funds may be used for direct training costs for training provided in-house; by institutions of higher education; by federal, state, or local agencies; or private training or educational providers.
Low-Income Worker Training Program
Provides grants of up to $200,000 to public, private, or nonprofit entities to help low-income people gain new skills necessary move up the career ladder to higher paying jobs and greater economic self-sufficiency.
Automation Training Incentive Program
Provides training grants of up to $35,000 to small businesses that are implementing new automation technology.
Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP)
MJSP offers grants through a variety of programs to offset training-related expenses incurred by business, industry and educational institutions to meet current and future workforce needs.
SciTechsperience Internship Program
SciTech is Minnesota’s one-stop resource for connecting small companies with college STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, and math) for paid internships, and provides employers with a 50% reimbursement of an intern’s wages ($2,500 max). Employers post jobs for free and may hire up to five interns per program year with no lifetime limit.
Workforce Strategy Consultants
- CareerForce Workforce Strategy Consultants offer employers workforce solutions tailored to meet specific business needs through a customized consultation process including strategies around hiring, training, and retaining a skilled diverse workforce. Jessica O’Brien is the Workforce Consultant for SE Minnesota. Jessica’s contact information is: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winona's Opportunity Zone: New Incentive for Downtown Development
In early 2018, the City of Winona and Port Authority requested and received Opportunity Zone designation from the Federal Government.
What is an Opportunity Zone?
Opportunity Zones were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December of 2017. Opportunity Zones provide certain tax incentives for private investors who are willing to invest funds in areas of a community that have historically shown signs of economic distress.
What is the purpose of an Opportunity Zone?
Opportunity Zones are designed to be an economic development tool that provides jobs and investment in areas that have received Opportunity Zone designation.
Where is Winona’s Opportunity Zone?
Winona’s Opportunity Zone is located in what is known as Census Tract 6705. As the map below indicates, the area includes much of Downtown Winona, the Winona State University Campus and the surrounding area.
How do Opportunity Zones work?
As has been mentioned, they are designed to spur economic development by providing tax incentives for investors. Here is an example:
- Joe and Jane Smith decide to sell a piece of property or sell some stock they have owned for some time.
- After the sale, the Smith’s realize a capital gain/profit/taxable income of $100,000.
- Instead of paying taxes on that capital gain, the Smiths decide to create an Opportunity Fund and invest that $100,000 in a commercial property located in Winona’s Opportunity Zone.
- If after 5 years the Smith’s decide to “cash out” of that asset located in the Opportunity Zone, they would pay capital gains taxes on 90% of that original $100,000 investment. (They would pay taxes on $90,000 rather than the original $100,000)
- If they held that asset for 7 years prior to “cashing out,” they would pay taxes on 85% of the original $100,000. (They would pay taxes on $85,000 rather than $100,000.)
- Here’s the “big benefit”. If the Smith’s hold on to the asset located in the Opportunity Zone for 10 years and cash out of the asset, they would pay no capital gains on the sale of that asset that is located in the Opportunity Zone. The original capital gain would be at the reduced amount.
I’m interested, where can I learn more?
There are a number of excellent web sites that discuss the pros and cons of Opportunity Zones. For example, the IRS has some great information. Prior to making any financial commitment it is strongly suggested that you discuss Opportunity Zone investment with your trusted tax accountant/financial advisor.