The Entrepreneur Fund announced the creation of the Duluth Small Business Emergency Fund (DSBEF). This partially forgivable loan program was created to support struggling small business owners in Duluth through the COVID-19 crisis. Funding for the DSBEF has been made available by the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA).

“The pandemic has already had a significant impact on many small businesses in Duluth,” explained Shawn Wellnitz, Entrepreneur Fund CEO. “Together with our partners, we’re doing everything in our power to make funds available where they’re needed most. We’re working closely with small business owners to ensure they can sustain operations during and after this crisis.”

The Entrepreneur Fund will accept online applications for DSBEF loans from May 20 through May 22. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. To submit an application, please visit:

Qualifying businesses must be based in Duluth and must demonstrate a direct and adverse effect resulting from the COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration pursuant to Minnesota Gov. Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-01 and subsequent Executive Orders. Small businesses are also required to have claimed all applicable private insurance and utilized all other sources of applicable assistance available from other private federal and state sources.

DSBEF Loan Terms
  • 0.5% Interest
  • No principal and interest payments required for the first 6 months. 
  • Minimum $2,000 and maximum $20,000
  • Loan terms up to 5 years
  • Up to 25% loan forgiveness if the business returns to operating in the community at substantially the same levels within two years following loan disbursement and operates for 12 months at that level.  
“The City of Duluth stands behind our business sector,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “This is a challenging time for our city, state and country. We are grateful for organizations like the 1200 Fund, Entrepreneur Fund, DEDA, and Duluth LISC who have stepped up to offer critically important grants and loans for small businesses within our community during this unprecedented time.”

For more information about the DSBEF or to apply for funding, please visit: