Financial assistance and incentives are available through OCEDC from federal, state, regional and local sources for expansions, start-ups, and re-locations. Financial assistance includes "gap" financing programs (state and federal), SBA 504, 7A and guarantees along with USDA guarantee programs. Incentive programs include Tax Increment Financing or property tax abatement, sales tax relief (in certain circumstances), and training programs. The following, are the specific program details:
State of Iowa Programs
To be eligible for funding from state programs, your project must create or retain jobs in Iowa. More information may be found by visiting the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
USDA Rural Development/Iowa:
- USDA Rural Development has a $206.2 billion portfolio of loans. They will administer $38 billion in loans, loan guarantees and grants through various programs during the current fiscal year.
Economic Development Set-Aside (EDSA) Program:
- Projects that are located in cities with populations of less than 50,000, or in a county may be eligible for forgivable or low-interest loans from this program. The maximum incentive level from this program is $500,000 for a project, which creates or retains jobs. The business seeking assistance must meet certain wage thresholds. Applications are evaluated based upon the number of jobs created; both the public and private matching funds; the level of need by the business; and the impact of the project on the local economy and the State of Iowa.
New Jobs and Income Program (NJIP):
- The New Jobs and Income Program provides a package of tax credits and exemptions to businesses making a capital investment of a minimum of $10.87 million and creating 50 or more jobs meeting specific wage and benefit targets. Eligibility requirements include: 1) creating 50 or more new jobs for at least 5 years, 2) pays a median wage of at least $11.96 per hour or 130% of average county wage for new jobs, which ever is higher, 3) makes a capital investment of at least $10.87 million, 4) provides and pay at least 80% of health and dental insurance, 5) business does not close or significantly reduce operations elsewhere in Iowa. Requires a business plan. No construction can be started prior to awarding of state funding.
Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy (RISE):
- This program can be used to pay for the costs of transportation directly related to the economic development project, such as a railroad spur or a road.
Iowa Job Training Programs:
- Iowa Jobs Training is administered through the local community college and is designed to help pay the costs of developing work specific skills in employees.
Iowa Small Business New Jobs Training Program:
- This program is similar to the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program, but is designed for smaller businesses. The funds may be used for skill assessment, orientation, pre-employment training, instructional salaries, seminar fees, and on-the-job training.
Iowa Retraining Program:
- When a business retools or replaces obsolete equipment or methods with new ones, it often needs a workforce with different skills. Western Iowa Tech Community College will design a program to help businesses retain workers in an environment of technological change.
Community Development Block Grant Fund (CDBG):
- The CDBG program is administered by the Iowa Department of Economic Development under federal guidelines. The funds can be used by the city for a range of activities, including business incentives.
Utility Incentive Programs
Through a partnership with the Iowa Area Development Group, Osceola Electric Cooperative has been able to offer vital economic development services including site selection, available industrial sites and buildings, and community data. With the assistance of the Iowa Area Development Group, Osceola Electric Cooperative has been able to obtain grants from USDA Rural Development to assist with community projects including: Heartwood Heights, Hope Haven, Osceola County, and Osceola Community Hospital. Grant funds have been made available to non-profit organizations as no interest loans. As the money is paid back, it goes into a revolving loan fund which is available for other worthy projects.