Grand Forks Jobs Development Approves First-i Expedited $ 250,000 Loan After Two Months of Discussion


On Monday, Grand Forks JDA churned out three items; One was an expedited loan request from First-i – a drone company in Grand Forks – which had been under development for months.

The meeting lasted about 10 minutes, and there was no discussion on any of the three items that had always been on the agenda of the meeting up to this point.

The First-i Accelerated Loan is a 20% off convertible bond and a minimum 10% equity requirement was agreed during the Grand Forks Growth Fund meeting on July 12, and a maximum loan of $ 250,000 with no payments or interest during the first three years, then two years at 2% per annum, also without payments, and then one-time payments after the first five years.

Another problem was the potential conflict of interest between the city and companies receiving accelerated loans. Companies that have taken out accelerated loans can respond to

Community Development Director Meredith Richards talked about each point to remind the audience of what it was about. She highlighted how highly she thought about First-i and how patient she was before saying that she didn’t want to slow things down for the company any more than she did before.

“(First-i) were introduced to this group very soon after this program was adopted, so this has been considered in one form or another since May,” Richards said during an item requesting a First-i loan. “A lot of due diligence was applied to these people and they were very helpful and patient when we used them to learn how to really improve this program.”

First-i was promptly approved for a maximum loan of $ 250,000, which will be added to the $ 850,000 in government funding it also receives.

Also at a meeting on Monday, committee members voted to authorize the sale of Corporate Center II on DeMers Avenue in downtown Grand Forks at a public auction through a sealed bid. The building is valued at approximately $ 3 million, and JDA is not required to accept the highest bid for a building if it is below that amount.

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