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 $50,000, 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
- Walls, ceilings, floors
- 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
- Complete the application
- If you need a paper application, call Jennifer Schultz.
- Return completed application to Jennifer Schultz.
All programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice.