Details now online for St. Louis County incentives for TV and film productions

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator



February 18, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


Details now online for St. Louis County incentive program for TV and film productions

The St. Louis County Board has given its final approval to start a production incentive program and the application forms and guidelines are now available online. The production incentive program is designed to encourage the creation of film, television, and digital media content in St. Louis County while also fostering local growth of the production industry talent and workforce.


Through the program, productions that have been certified through the application process, can receive a rebate up to 25% of a production’s spending for goods, services, and wages in St. Louis County. The County Board has committed to invest $1 million in the program in 2021. 


"The growth of new industry is essential to diversifying the economy and putting St. Louis County residents to work in the long term," said Commissioner Frank Jewell, who advocated for the program. "Many people think of writers, producers, actors and camera operators as those who work on a film set. But the list of jobs is much longer ranging from lighting and electric, to painters, builders, drivers, hair and makeup, wardrobe, accounting, office and production assistants."


Additionally, many other businesses are expected to benefit from the presence of a production, including hotels, restaurants, printers, hardware and supply stores.


The Upper Midwest Film Office (UMFO) will manage the program for St. Louis County. "We have seen an incredible response to initial reports of this incentive. We only expect this to increase as details of guidelines and application process are available," said Chief Production Officer Riki McManus. "As productions find safe ways to return to work, we look forward to the injection of economic activity across the county and we are excited to be part of larger economic growth in our region." 

Workshops, information and ways to get involved are posted on the UMFO's website:


The Production Incentive Program guidelines were drafted based on a wide range of stakeholder input, including comments from production industry representatives and the Duluth-based Catalyst Story Institute. The program guidelines are similar to and complement the existing Minnesota Production Rebate Program, which is overseen by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation’s Iron Range Film and TV Production Incentive program.