Alternative Financing

This City program offers loans that conform to Islamic law.

The Alternative Financing program provides small Minneapolis businesses (neighborhood retail, service or light manufacturing) an alternative financing to the interest-based system that is in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia. The program provides financing to purchase equipment and/or make building improvements. A private lender provides half the financing at their rate of return, and the City provides the rest, up to $75,000, at a 2 percent rate of return. The term (up to 10 years) is set by the lender. Private lender fees vary, and the City charges an origination fee of 1 percent of the City’s principal amount with a minimum of $150, due at closing.

Terms and conditions

  • Applicant must repay the funds and be an acceptable credit risk
  • All rehab work and equipment installation must meet Minneapolis city codes    
  • Applicant must comply with the Minneapolis zoning ordinances             
  • Must make efforts to hire Minneapolis residents by working with the City’s Workforce Coordinator
  • Use contractors licensed in Minneapolis
  • Proceeds cannot be used for billboard advertising
  • The city cannot finance any work started prior to the closing

Who is eligible

  • All businesses in the City of Minneapolis
  • The applicant may be individual owners, partnerships, corporations, tenant operators or contract for deed partners.
  • Businesses that benefit low-to-moderate income persons by creating jobs or improving service

Eligible uses

  • Lighting
  • Windows
  • Walls, ceilings, floors
  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical Systems and Air Conditioning
  • All work on the front and sides of business buildings facing public streets
  • Cleaning, painting and staining of exterior surfaces
  • Masonry repairs
  • Repairing or replacing of cornices, entrances, doors, windows, decorative details and awnings
  • Sign removal, repairing or replacement
  • Architectural design services for plans and specifications
  • Parking lots, including lighting, surfacing and landscaping
  • Building identification
  • Other items that are viewed necessary to complement the exterior of the building
  • Building permits
  • Energy audits
  • Energy conservation and energy retrofits
  • Handicap access
  • Streetscape costs not financed by special assessment
  • Production equipment
  • Computers on a case-by-case basis only

How to apply

All programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice.

Request accessible format

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Contact us

Jennifer Schultz

Community Planning & Economic Development





Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415