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Small Business Owner Receives Micro-loan for Expansion, Growth

Small Business Owner Receives Micro-loan for Expansion, Growth

Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc. in Spicer, MN Expands with Loan from the Southwest Initiative Foundation

Ronald and Kimberly Wothe recently received a loan from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Micro-Enterprise loan program for the expansion of their home winemaking center into a small farm winery, “Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc.” Their facility has been remodeled to serve as a winery, tasting room and gift shop.

The business will make and sell a variety of grape wines, apple wine and some seasonal specialty fruit wines, and home winemaking will continue to be a specialty service. An outdoor performance stage hosts live performers every Thursday night during the tourist months, making the winery an even more popular destination.

Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc. is located just north of Spicer on Highway 23, a well-known tourism area in the Willmar lakes region. It was formerly the Jimmy Appleseed Orchard Co., with a retail apple store and pie making business. The apple orchard remains a part of the business.

SWIF funding will be used to purchase winemaking vats and equipment, in partnership with United Prairie Bank, who provided the primary funding for the project. “We are so pleased to assist in the expansion of Glacial Ridge Winery, Inc.,” said Berny Berger, SWIF micro-enterprise program officer. “This unique business has great potential to thrive in a strong tourist area. Ron and Kimberly are well-prepared for this exciting endeavor.”

SWIF’s Micro-Enterprise Loan Program offers loans of up to $35,000 for starting or expanding for-profit small businesses located within the 18 counties of southwest Minnesota that have a need for additional sources of funds. In addition, technical assistance is available from SWIF as needed for the length of the loan. The program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Otto Bremer Foundation.