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Department of Commerce awards funding to Grand Forks, regional businesses

Administered by the state Department of Commerce, the NDDF coordinates funding efforts between businesses and communities.

North Dakota Capitol
North Dakota Capitol in Bismarck. Forum file photo
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GRAND FORKS – A Grand Forks-based childcare and software company are among three businesses approved for more than $3 million in loan funding through the North Dakota Development Fund in the first quarter of 2022.

Administered by the state Department of Commerce, the NDDF coordinates funding efforts between businesses and communities. The three companies were approved for approximately $3.34 million in loan and venture funds. The companies that received financing are:

  • Academy of Kids Child Care Center Inc., in Grand Forks, was awarded $89,000 to cover the costs of renovations for its center located in the Grand Forks Columbia Mall. The North Dakota Department of Human Services and the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation also supported the project.
  • Airtonomy Inc., a drone software company in Grand Forks, was approved for an investment of up to $1 million to hire additional staff within North Dakota. The software company is developing a solution to enable anyone to operate commercial drones at any time with push button simplicity.
  • Hoefer Group LLC, a company that will be located in Dunseith, was awarded $2.25 million for a revolving line for inventory financing. Hoefer Group designs and manufactures ultralight luxury recreational vehicles. The company will employ more than 100 people in the Dunseith area.

Businesses that have a reasonable chance of succeeding and are in need of equity financing can apply for the development as a possible solution.
According to a Commerce Department release, the NDDF was created in 1991 as an economic development tool. It provides flexible funding through debt and equity investments for new or expanding North Dakota primary sector businesses. The fund also manages the Child Care Loan Program created by the Legislature in 2009.

Related Topics: BUSINESS
Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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