SBA 504 Interest Rates | May 2024 | 10 Yr:  6.908%, 20 Yr: 6.656%, 25 Yr: 6.555% *rates may vary Learn More »

40 Years of Dakota Business Lending

Nov 15, 2022

Featured in 

In May of 2022, Dakota Business Lending celebrated Dakota Business Lending 40 years of joining small businesses on their journey to success…

But these four decades have also been a journey of their own. The organization that began providing financing solutions in 1982 has quickly evolved into a large, multi-state organization with several financing programs, several strong partnerships with entities across the state, an additional brand of its own (ACTIVATE), and a record-breaking loan volume.

Here’s a brief look at the history of Dakota Business Lending and how the entity has grown to where it is today.

May 10, 1982

Fargo-Cass County Industrial Development Corporation was granted approval by the U.S. Small Business Administration to be a Certified Development Company (CDC) and provide the SBA 503 loan program (long-term, fixed-rate financing program that helps small businesses grow and generate jobs).


The SBA 503 loan program was changed to the SBA 504 loan program (named after Section 504 in the Small Business Investment Act of 1958).


Dakota Certified Development Corporation was formed as an independent, statewide not-for-profit organization to carry forward the SBA 504 program. A second office was opened in Bismarck, ND.


DCDC began offering loans through the USDA Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) to borrowers in rural communities.


The very first Dakota CDC website was launched. The entity also began hosting informational sessions in various cities throughout North Dakota.


The Dakota CDC Charitable Fund was created to raise funds and further Dakota CDC’s mission or providing financing solutions through collaborative partnerships. They also partnered with the Impact Foundation and began offering financing for business in rural communities.


Dakota CDC created the Main Street program. The program is completely funded by Dakota CDC and works to support start-ups and emerging small businesses in North Dakota.


Dakota CDC launched a new website and Facebook page.  They also partnered with Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) and began offering financing for business health/safety-related businesses in rural communities.


Dakota CDC started administering financing through the SBA Intermediary Lending Program (ILP) and SBA 7(a) Community Advantage program.


The organization became a trustee of Kiva – a crowdfunding, microlending program that provides up to $25,000 at a 0% rate for entrepreneurs throughout the United States.

January 2018

Dakota CDC rebranded to Dakota Business Lending to better reflect services offered by company. A brand-new headquarters facility was opened in Fargo, ND.

April 2018

SBA announces 25-year option now available under the SBA 504 loan program.


Two new resources for business owners – ACTIVATE Women (a free learning workshop series for women business owners) and the ACTIVATE U Podcast – were launched.

September 2019

Dakota Business Lending became a multi-state CDC, opened an office in Lewistown, MT, and expanded their SBA 504 services into the entire state of Montana.


Dakota Business Lending became the first North Dakota-based financing entity to receive a $30 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation and began providing NMTC financing throughout the state.


Two new resources for business owners – ACTIVATE Women (a free learning workshop series for women business owners) and the ACTIVATE U Podcast – were launched.

May 10, 2022

Dakota Business Lending turns 40!

June 2022

The Vault – an online comprehensive library of small business financing resources throughout North Dakota – was released.

September 2022

Dakota Business Lending expanded their $1,000 – $5.5M loan programs into their entire service area of North Dakota, Montana, and western Minnesota. 


Stay tuned for additional resources and services to be announced SOON!

Dakota Business Lending would not have been able to accomplish and grow in the way it has without the support of our many lenders, borrowers, and partners over the past four decades.

We are grateful for the continued support and look forward to growing and better serving small businesses for years to come!