Small Employer Loan Fund (SELF)

This program assists local financial institutions and certified development corporations (CDCs) in providing loans to assist very small North Dakota businesses in their recovery from the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is $50 million allocated for the SELF program.

Loan applications must be received by November 30, 2020.


Program use examples

  • Company A, that employs 10 full-time equivalents (FTEs) or less is requesting a loan for $20,000. The appropriate program is the SELF program as the loan can be unsecured.
  • Company B, that employs 10 FTEs or less is requesting a loan for $48,000 to be secured by assets other than real estate.  The appropriate program is the SELF program.
  • Company C, that employs 10 FTEs or less is requesting a loan for $48,000 to be secured by real estate. The appropriate program is the CPR program.

What criteria can bankers use to certify need?

Consider issues related to negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic including negative impact due to executive orders to close business, a decreased customer base, decreased revenue, inability to meet term debt payments and supply chain issues. This is not an all-inclusive list and similar items will be considered. BND is relying on lead lenders to make the best decisions keeping in mind the intentions of the loan program.

Are nonprofit organizations eligible?


Would a North Dakota-based company that does projects in Minnesota be eligible?

Funds must be used to support North Dakota operations. Any out-of-state projects must be excluded.

Are commission-based independent contractors eligible?


I have a customer with a new business that was opening up soon. Can they apply for SELF?

The business must have been in operation as of March 13, 2020.

How is 10 full-time equivalents (FTEs) calculated?

One FTE is equal to 40 hours per week. A business qualifies if it has 20,800 (40 hours x 52 weeks x 10 FTEs) hours or less for the previous year.

Use of proceeds

Are SELF loans subject to open records requests?

North Dakota Century Code allows for the release of the borrower’s name and the amount of the loan. No application or financial records beyond those two items are ever released.

Participation requirements

Will there be documentation requirements to ensure proceeds are being used appropriately?

No. We are relying on lead banks to verify the intended use of proceeds are eligible.

Many bankers are working from home without access to printer/scanner. Is a signature required on the SELF application?

The application allows the lead lender to sign with an email signature. The minimum requirement is an email with a typed signature.

Is the lead lender expected to continue servicing the SELF Loan?

Yes, the lead lender is expected to collect and forward payments.

Loan terms

Does the guaranty need to be unlimited?

An unlimited guaranty is required when personal guaranty is applicable.

Processing and Servicing

How will originating lender be notified of the loan funding?

A funding verification will be sent to the individual who submitted the executed note and commitment letter to the email address.

Will the funding date be backdated to the note date?

SELF loan funding will not be backdated unless the Originating Lender specifically asks for the funding to be backdated in the email with the funding documents.  If the loan funding is not backdated, when the first payment is received, the Originating Lender will keep the interest accrued to the date BND funded its participation and the remainder of the payment will be submitted to BND.

How will Originating Lender receive proceeds?

If the Originating Lender has a correspondent account with BND, loan proceeds will be credited to the correspondent account.  If a correspondent account is not in place, loan proceeds will be wired to the Originating Lender.

When will the originating lender receive the one-time service fee?

BND will credit the service fee to the Originating Lender’s correspondent account with BND the same date they send the proceeds of the loan.  If a correspondent account is not in place, the one-time service fee will be wired to the Originating Lender.  The service fee is $250 for loans $25,000 and under or 1% of the loan amount for loans over $25,000.

Does BND need to be listed on the UCC filing for All Business Assets?

BND will not be listed as Secured Party on the UCC filing.  The Originating Lender will file the UCC, if one is not already in place, and they will be listed as the Secured Party.

The borrower must be a North Dakota business, with an employee count of 10 full-time equivalents (FTE) or less. The borrower is defined as an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership or an association.

  • The local lender determines if the applicant’s business has incurred economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As of March 13, 2020, the business must have:
    • Had a physical presence in North Dakota
    • Been current on financial obligations
    • Along with any guarantors, showed the capacity or historical ability to service debt
    • Had an employee count of 10 or less full-time equivalents (FTE)
    • Had an owner with at least 20% ownership, or a guarantor with a pre-pandemic minimum credit score of 650.
  • Receipt of Payroll Protection Program funds does not affect eligibility.

The lead lender verifies that the intended use of proceeds is eligible.

Proceeds shall be used to:

  • Support working capital needs, recurring expenses and replenish inventory. The purpose of restart inventory is to restock a quantity that enables a business to operate at pre-pandemic levels.
  • Term out COVID-19-related bridge loans or credit card debt originated on or after March 13, 2020. This amount may not exceed 20% of the maximum loan amount.

Loan funds may not be used to:

  • Fund capital purchases or business expansion
  • Refinance any existing debt
  • Provide distributions or dividends to owners
  • The maximum loan amount per borrower is equal to six months of operating expenses plus interest as well as any amount needed to replenish inventory, or a maximum loan of $50,000, whichever is less.

Interest Rate: Fixed at 1%

Fees: BND will pay a one-time service fee to the lead financial institution of $250 for loans of $25,000 or less or a one-time service fee of 1% of loan amount for loans over $25,000

  • A SELF loan may not be secured with real estate
  • No collateral is required for loans $25,000 and under
  • A shared lien on all business assets is required for loans over $25,000. If there is adequate equity in the business assets, it is acceptable for the SELF loan to be in a junior position; otherwise, all other debt of the lead lender which shares an interest in the business assets shall be pro-rata.
  • If the loan request is more than $25,000 and the collateral is real estate, the loan request will be referred to the COVID-19 Recovery Program.

BND will purchase 100% of the loan.

  • Loan term: 120 months. There is no pre-payment penalty.
  • Payments must be made monthly; principal and interest payments will be deferred for six months. BND highly encourages the lead lender to set up automatic payments.
  • All loans require unlimited personal guarantees.

Small Employer Loan Fund (SELF) Application (PDF)
Small Employer Loan Fund (SELF) Non-fillable Application (PDF)


PDFs will automatically download. Once downloaded, on desktop PC, right-click the file name in browser’s default download location, select “Show in folder,” open PDF. If you are not able to access a PDF, please contact us for assistance.

ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY A LENDER AT YOUR LOCAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTION. APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY A BUSINESS OWNER WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Please contact your local lender to initiate the loan application with Bank of North Dakota. The originating lender must complete the SELF application and is not required to submit a credit presentation.