Lack of interest in Minot’s MAGIC Fund leaves it idle; fund managers move to generate more interest

Local News

More than 40 years ago, the City of Minot established the MAGIC Fund, which is an acronym for Minot Area Growth by Investment and Cooperation fund.

It is designed to help small businesses and enhance economic and industrial growth.

However, for the last three years, no business has applied to use the fund.

“It’s been fairly quiet on the MAGIC Fund as far as applications are concerned. We’ve had some funding from the MAGIC Funds beings used to help fund the center for technical education,” said City Finance Director David Lakefield.

There is about $11 million currently sitting in the MAGIC Fund. The money comes from a portion of sales tax that citizens voted into existence in 1990.

The MAGIC Fund is designed to be a source of funding for small businesses revolving loans and to attract non-retail businesses to Minot.

As of 2007, the fund had supported 200 entities including six companies with close to $26 million according to a compliance report.

Although reasons for the lack of interest in the funds are not entirely clear, Lakefield says a number of things could be responsible.

He said, “Interest rates on the open market are very attractive right now so traditional financing methods are very affordable.”

The affordable interested rates have made business owners less dependent on “alternate financing or incentives,” according to Lakefield.

But that is one of many reasons he thinks businesses have not shown interest in the MAGIC Fund.

“With the last year, I think that COVID-19 pandemic is probably slowed things up just a little bit as far as news businesses taking on any new ventures,” he added.

John MacMartin, of the Minot Area Chamber EDC, who manages the fund said they are looking into “creative ways to secure potential leads that might be interested in the Minot area.”

The Department of Commerce will send out a request for information and had a business contact them, we’ll provide information on Minot,” he added.

The MAGIC Fund is available to any non-retail company that operates in the ag and energy sector or provides services linked to the primary sector of the Minot trade area.

To find out if your business is eligible for the MAGIC Fund, get in touch with the Minot Area Chamber EDC.

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