Helping Minnesota businesses improve energy efficiency and cash flow

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We step in with financing for improvements that save energy

Most Minnesota business owners don’t place energy-efficiency improvements high on their “to-do” list—something that changes quickly when they realize its impact on their cash flow.

By reducing energy costs, businesses can:

  • Free up needed cash
  • Protect against future energy price increases
  • Improve the value of their property
  • Support a stronger environment

It can be hard to finance these often expensive changes. Our CRF Green Loan for Businesses helps Minnesota business owners burdened with high energy costs but lacking the cash for large-scale environmental improvements. The loan is structured so that payments equate the energy savings.

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is here to help our partners also interested in improving the energy efficiency of Minnesota businesses. Community banks, credit unions, Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) can refer clients to CRF when a deserving borrower can’t meet your lending criteria. In addition to supporting the business’ financial needs, CRF will provide a referral fee to support the community lenders.

Why the CRF Green Loan for Businesses is different

Some energy loan programs focus on singular projects like an equipment replacement or a lighting retrofit. The CRF Green Loan for Businesses takes a comprehensive look at overall business energy use with an eye toward lowering energy consumption, reducing ongoing expense, and increasing cash flow. In addition, our program provides expert guidance in energy conservation best practices, so business owners can be sure they’re making the right choice for their organization.

Qualified energy improvements include:

  • Building shell improvements
  • Weather stripping
  • New windows
  • Roofing
  • Heating and cooling equipment
  • Energy-efficient equipment
  • Solar panels

How it works

  • Our lending referral partner contacts us with a potential project for a Minnesota business borrower.
  • The Minnesota business contracts for a professional energy audit. (Local energy providers can recommend a competent third-party company to conduct the audit, and some will even provide rebates for audits.)
  • The energy audit reveals where the business could invest to improve energy efficiency and what it could expect to save as a result.
  • CRF helps to finance needed improvements that could include windows, roofing, heating and cooling equipment, lighting, and more.

CRF Green Loan for Business at a glance

EquipmentReal Estate
Use Major purchases of business equipment that provide energy conservation or alternative energy improvements Purchase, construction, expansion, or retrofitting of a building occupied by a business
Business location Minnesota Minnesota
Loan size $20,000–$300,000 $20,000–$300,000
Loan terms Up to 7 years Up to 15 years

If you are a lender

Have a small business customer in Minnesota who needs funds but may not be able to secure them through traditional financing? Contact Mike Derus, Regional Director of Business Development, to learn more.

If you are a business owner

Is a CRF Green Loan right for your Minnesota business? Contact Mike Derus, Regional Director of Business Development, to learn more.

Loans are funded by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the US Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. 111-5, (Recovery Act). Borrower will be responsible for certain state and federal requirements, including Wage Rate Requirements described below and the National Historic Preservation Act.

WAGE RATE REQUIREMENTS UNDER SECTION 1606 OF THE RECOVERY ACT

(a) Section 1606 of the Recovery Act requires that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to the Recovery Act shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code.

Pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 14 and the Copeland Act, 40 U.S.C. 3145, the Department of Labor has issued regulations at 29 CFR parts 1, 3, and 5 to implement the Davis-Bacon and related Acts. Regulations in 29 CFR 5.5 instruct agencies concerning application of the standard Davis-Bacon contract clauses set forth in that section. Federal agencies providing grants, cooperative agreements, and loans under the Recovery Act shall ensure that the standard Davis-Bacon contract clauses found in 29 CFR 5.5(a) are incorporated in any resultant covered contracts that are in excess of $2,000 for construction, alteration or repair (including painting and decorating).

(b) For additional guidance on the wage rate requirements of section 1606, contact your awarding agency. Recipients of grants, cooperative agreements and loans should direct their initial inquiries concerning the application of Davis-Bacon requirements to a particular federally assisted project to the Federal agency funding the project. The Secretary of Labor retains final coverage authority under Reorganization Plan Number 14.