Growth in Valley City
Jennifer Feist, director of development for the Valley City – Barnes County Development Corporation, counts Flex PACE as an important tool to build business in her region. With more than a dozen projects in different phases of using Flex PACE, it has been instrumental in expanding businesses, purchasing property, and developing new businesses.
Flex PACE also helps meet the challenges of smaller communities. “I see businesses closing because of a lack of a succession plan. If a family member didn’t want to take over the business, it closed in the past,” said Feist. “Flex PACE reduces the risk to a new business owner who may purchase an existing business and keeps that important service in our community.”
The movie theatre is considered an anchor business in Valley City. When Capital Cinemas, Inc. needed significant funds to modernize their equipment, Feist recommended the Flex PACE program. The theatre improves the quality of life for many in the Valley City area and the business is thriving.
Feist also recognizes the importance of establishing affordable housing for the community’s residents. She expects developers in the Valley City area will be accessing Flex PACE for Affordable Housing in 2014.
Flex PACE provides an interest buy down up to 5 percent for borrowers who do not fit into the traditional definition of a PACE qualifying business. Under Flex PACE, the community determines the eligibility and accountability standards. It has proven to be a valuable program for economic development in North Dakota.