A new program from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will help put more robots on manufacturing floors. The Automation Loan Participation Program offers loans to help cover the costs of machinery, equipment, and software needed to increase productivity. DEED Commissioner Steve Grove says small businesses statewide need the extra help:

“We know the workforce shortage is big. We have to be able to hire more workers in more places than we ever have before. But at the end of the day you can’t create a workforce out of thin air you have to be able to automate a lot more quickly but for small to mid-sized manufacturers it can be harder and more expensive robots aren’t cheap.”

The loan program is the latest part of the $97 million State Small Business Credit Initiative.