Update from RAEDI President Ryan Nolander
A few weeks ago we were all living completely different lives, it’s amazing how quickly things have changed.  I would like to take this time to say thank you to our local businesses for their resolve and commitment to their businesses and employees during this difficult time.  We are all looking for solutions to assist our businesses and the landscape is changing daily.
The current financial assistance tree as we know it today:
The current employee assistance tree: Please feel free to pass this information along to your friends or contacts.  Also, we are continuing to monitor and update this information and links as they change, so keep checking our website for updates (
Please note that the RAEDI offices are currently closed to the public, but staff are working and remain available via email or telephone.  RAEDI staff are engaged daily with government, civic, and other leadership and will continue to be throughout this situation.
I hope that you all remain safe during this difficult time, and that we get through this situation as quickly as possible so that we can work together to re-grow our area businesses, jobs, and tax base.
Local Emergency Economic Development Fund Loan Program
The City of Rochester COVID-19 Emergency Economic Development Fund Loan Program (EEDFLP) will be used to provide assistance to small local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic event. It is intended to be interim financial aid to help keep businesses operating, a part of the tax base once the pandemic is over, and to be able to support their employees in times of declining or no business.

Loan Program Requirements and Terms
  • Qualifying business must be located within City of Rochester municipal limits and must not have more than 25 full time equivalent (FTE) employees.
  • The maximum loan amount not to exceed $25,000.
  • Loan will be amortized over a period of 36 months with the payments starting 90 days after the state of emergency declaration is terminated. 
  • Interest rate of 1%, accruing from the date of state of emergency ending. If the loan is repaid within six (6) months of the state of emergency ending, interest will be waived.
  • Loans may be repaid in whole or in part anytime without penalty.
  • Applying for this loan will NOT disqualify you for additional funds from the SBA Emergency Loan Program, any of the State of Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development assistance programs or any other local assistance programs that may be available
For more information on this loan program and to download an application, click here:
Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loans

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has established an emergency loan program to assist small businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and is now accepting applications.  As a reminder, this emergency loan program only applies to businesses affected by closure in the Governor’s Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08.  You can find the terms and eligibility requirements here:
In regards to applying, small businesses need to apply directly with the state’s certified lenders, and in SE MN we have two certified lenders:

Also, there was a new Small Business Loan Guarantee Program included in the $330M package passed yesterday by the MN State Legislature.  We will pass along information on this as soon as we receive it.

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
If you have suffered substantial economic injury and are one of the following types of businesses located in a 
declared disaster area, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):
  • Small Business
  • Small agricultural cooperative
  • Most private nonprofit organizations
Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.

For more information on this loan program, click here:
Farewell to Xavier Frigola, Director of Entrepeneurship at RAEDI
RAEDI is saying goodbye to Xavier Frigola, who has been the Director of Entrepreneurship for the past six years. Xavier will be re-joining Mayo Clinic in the Treasury Services Department.
“It has truly been a privilege to be involved in the entrepreneurial transformation of Rochester. When I reflect on all the work done in the last six years, I am very proud of all we have accomplished during my tenure,” said Xavier. 

During his time at RAEDI, Xavier helped establish the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator and assisted more than 60 startups who have been housed at the Accelerator. He also managed both the Rochester Economic Development Fund, launched in 2013, and the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, launched in 2017, which provides financing to Rochester-based startups. These funds have brought hundreds of millions in external financing to Rochester and have funded companies like Vyriad, Sonex and GoRout  “I feel that I leave RAEDI’s entrepreneurial initiatives in a good position to continue growing and supporting Rochester’s evolving entrepreneurial needs,” said Xavier.
RAEDI’s President Ryan Nolander stated that it has been a pleasure working with Xavier. "We wish Xavier the best in his new role and we are very glad that he is remaining in our community where he will continue to be involved with startups.”
RAEDI Welcomes Sean Williams,
Small Business Consultant
Sean Williams will be assisting RAEDI with the management of its small business and entrepreneur activity, specifically the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, and administration of the EDF and SE MN Capital Funds. 

Sean is an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder dedicated to helping businesses grow in Southeastern Minnesota, where he’s been living for almost 9 years. The common theme to his past careers has been empowering others - from a production company bridging college and the real world to a creator-owned comic book publishing company. Besides assisting RAEDI, Sean is also currently managing the Launch Coworking Space in Austin, MN, and is an active member of the Entrepreneurs 1st (E1) initiative for Southeastern Minnesota.

“RAEDI is extremely lucky to have someone experienced in entrepreneurial ecosystems that is familiar with the region’s assets assisting us with our small business and entrepreneur activity,” stated RAEDI President Ryan Nolander.  “I look forward to working with Sean and the new ideas and programs he will bring to RAEDI.”
RAEDI Strategic Planning
The steering committee kick-off is currently scheduled for early April and we are intending on keeping this meeting via teleconferencing to discuss:
  • Future needs based on the current crisis.
  • Developing stronger ties with our partners wherever possible.
  • Review models to maximize resources now and in the future. 
  • RAEDI’s leadership role in the months and years ahead. 
Our entire team is committed to not only caring for our existing base businesses today, but also in aligning substantial resources to continue to grow and diversify our economy in the future.  Your continued commitment to our organization is more essential than ever before and will be deeply appreciated as we go through this planning process.
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RAEDI mailing address is:
Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI)
220 South Broadway, Suite 100, Rochester, MN   (507) 288-0208

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