Northspan delivers high quality, professional business, community, and organizational development consulting services.



Northspan’s business development services nest within a network of public and private partners to provide critical gap services. We work with companies of all sizes through growth and transition to grow the economy in the communities we serve.

  • Structure and facilitate financing for projects
  • Provide expertise in packaging loan and grant applications
  • Partner with communities and financial institutions to provide loan program support services
  • Partner with community banks to provide Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a Loan Guaranty program services
  • Provide accredited business valuation and succession planning


Northspan is a recognized leader in community development, and works to identify, develop, and fund projects that strengthen community tax bases, attract and retain businesses, and enhance the quality of life for those who live and work there.

  • Coordinate and facilitate critical conversations
  • Provide strategic support and gap capacity for communities and regional partnerships
  • Devise strategies for diversification, change, and sustainable growth
  • Critically examine, research, and analyze opportunities and challenges
  • Provide policy recommendations and process for change


Northspan improves the health and vitality of boards, councils, committees, groups, and collaborations through organizational development that builds capacity, improves decision-making, and enhances effectiveness.

  • Coordinate and facilitate strategic planning processes
  • Provide technical assistance for change, growth management, and development
  • Provide meeting management and planning services
  • Facilitate economic adjustment, crisis response, and readiness planning initiatives
  • Conduct project feasibility studies and economic impact analyses

Programs Powered by Northspan

Northspan powers four programs that work to foster economic development and the growth of human capital in their respective service areas. Northspan programs are built in partnership, cultivate connections between communities and businesses, and aim toward holistic economic development strategies.

Where We Work

While our primary service area is Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, we work with clients and partners across the Upper Midwest. We are not geographically bound; we build connections that bridge across boundaries and assist communities.


Northspan’s expertise and experience in business development translated well for us needing to create a sustainable financial plan for a higher education program. Bob and Karl complement each other well in how they approach their work from a knowledge base grounded both in financial forecasting and understanding multiple aspects of our region.

Bill Maki
Northeast Higher Education District

Northspan has been very effective in bringing GPS to the next level. We are now more productive and seeing more results. It is great to rely on someone who is capable to get the work done.

Nancy Hoffman
Chisago County HRA-EDA
Past President, GPS 45:93

Northspan provides excellent support to financial institutions. They provide timely assistance and find creative solutions to help new and growing businesses get the financing they need. They are a vital partner in making many deals become reality.

Chad Curran
Vice President of Commercial Banking
National Bank of Commerce

Northspan has created the visions and provided organizational support for regional initiatives that are key to our economic and community development success. With its facilitation and leadership, these initiatives went from being raw ideas to significant accomplishments.

Nancy Norr
Director, Regional Development
Minnesota Power

Northspan did an excellent job with strategic planning. We kept a scorecard and it was spot on with the results. The execution of the plan was outstanding.

Tom Saehr
President & CEO
Minnesota Business Finance Corporation

Northspan has a wide array of capabilities from convening, facilitation, to lending, to property, to grant writing skills. It’s a strong partner both publicly and privately.

Wade Fauth
Vice President
Blandin Foundation