January 2018
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F.Y.I. is an electronic publication of The Northspan Group, Inc.



Northspan: Your Partner in Project Development
Randy Lasky - (218) 529-7561   
Providing the behind-the-scenes work necessary to shepherd local development projects from start to finish has been central to Northspan's work since its inception. We usher projects of all shapes and sizes through any and all phases and ensure they stay on track. Our work is driven by a guiding vision for business and community development that builds partnerships, leverages all available resources, clarifies eligibility and fundability, and guides projects through from start to finish. Whether it involves a long-term relationship through many phases, as in our work in Sandstone or Cook County, or a quick, one-time project, Northspan has the resources to assist public, private, and nonprofit entities. For example, our work can include the following steps:

Visioning Initiatives: What are your community or organization's needs, and what does it view as worthwhile investment? Northspan can walk you through a process to a guiding vision and/or a full-fledged strategic plan with concrete steps to turn ideas into reality. Past strategic planning initiatives with a diverse array of organizations, from government agencies like the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRR) to nonprofits such as the Northern Lights Foundation, have helped position partners across the region to grow and provide important services.

Feasibility Assessments: Whether it requires a formal study of economic impact or a financial feasibility assessment to make sure that operating assumptions are viable, Northspan is on hand to provide the due diligence necessary to ensure that a project is real. Our work includes a long track record of confidential financial feasibility studies for business transition transactions and assessment of programs for public clients such as colleges and universities.

Funding Development: Northspan is intimately familiar with a full array of funding options, from federal programs through the Department of Agriculture and Economic Development Administration to state programs such as those offered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development or IRRR. We work with clients to identify possible sources and can complete applications to line up the resources that get projects off the ground.
The Northspan team has expertise for every step in the process, and is ready to begin work upon your request. Contact us today.
New Small Business Administration Loan SOP
Justin Riemer - (218) 529-7565  
Northspan has long provided services from the Small Business Administration (SBA). We're on top of new changes to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for SBA loan guaranties, and our expertise with SBA applications helps ease the burden for clients looking to complete them.

The SBA released a new SOP effective January 1, 2018. The new version, SOP 50 10 5 (J), involves changes to many aspects of the SBA loan programs including  guaranty fees, equity requirements, and general language aimed to provide better guidance to SBA applicants. Accompanying the new SOP are new versions of SBA application forms. Whether you're an entrepreneur looking to launch a new business or a lending institution looking to escape the stress of an evolving application process, we monitor these changes in order to deliver our services in a timely and accurate manner.

Northspan's track record includes successful financing for over 100 projects in over 20 years. We also assist with general SBA-related questions and provide loan packaging services. Business Developer Justin Riemer will work closely with SBA applicants and their bank lender to discuss the viability of their project, review the application process, and determine informational needs. If you are interested in Northspan's SBA application preparation services or have any questions regarding program fit, contact Justin Riemer at 218.529.7565 or email him at jriemer@northspan.org .
Upper Minnesota Film Office Adapts and Expands
Riki McManus - (218) 940-3770

It's been an eventful past year and a half for the Upper Minnesota Film Office (UMFO), as eight feature length films were shot in the region. With a severe cut to the state's Snowbate incentive program for filmmakers, however, numbers for 2018 are unlikely to be as high as in 2017. Despite this obstacle, UMFO is still fielding great interest in the area from scouts and other people who would like to make their films in the Northland as they continue to reach out and explore their options in the region.  UMFO Director Riki McManus believes she will still continue to see documentaries and smaller films, as well as commercials, shooting in the region.
UMFO is pleased to note a growth in new emerging filmmakers who are from the region and are going out and making films despite the lack of incentives.  Many of them got their training through work on the many films that came to shoot in the Northland as a result of Snowbate and regional incentives through the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation. These efforts have grown a knowledgeable crew base in the Northland, and the region continues to leverage and reap the benefits.
UMFO is now working on in-depth documentation of locations for films, with efforts starting in Duluth and eventually expanding across the region. With these in place, UMFO will be ready for new and renewed interest in spending filmmaking dollars in the region thanks to its comprehensive library of locations and an experienced crew. UMFO will continue demonstrating the value and encouraging legislators to restore the Snowbate incentive, and will push ahead in its work to serve the many talented filmmakers exploring the Northland. Over two decades of work have built a solid foundation for filmmaking, and the local industry will continue to forge ahead.