40 Years of Dakota Business Lending

May 9, 2022

Dakota Business Lending has been joining small businesses on their journey to success for 40 years…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, 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

    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).

  • May 10, 1982


    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).

  • May 10, 1982


    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.

  • May 10, 1982


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

  • May 10, 1982


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

  • May 10, 1982


    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

  • May 10, 1982


    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.

  • May 10, 1982


    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.

  • May 10, 1982


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

  • May 10, 1982


    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. 

  • May 10, 1982

    January 2018

    Dakota Business Lending

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

  • May 10, 1982

    April 2018

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

  • May 10, 1982


    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, 1982

    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.

  • May 10, 1982


    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.

  • May 10, 1982

    March 2022

    Another resource for business owners, the ACTIVATE Magazine, was launched.

  • May 10, 1982

    May 10, 2022

    Dakota Business Lending turns 40!

  • May 10, 1982


    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!