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IDED Quick News
The news report for customers, partners and
friends of the
Iowa Department of Economic Development.
April 30, 2004
Economic Development Top Stories
Fund Awards Announced
Board Announces TSB and SELP Awards
Business Development News
Governor Leads Delegation to New Zealand
Trip to Europe
Services Companies Recruited to Iowa
Companies Recruited to Iowa
Attends Wind Energy Meeting
Testing Service Program Helps Iowa Companies
Attends Industrial Biotech Meeting
Attends Minorities in Agriculture Meeting
Community Development News
Main Street Announces New Community
Small Business Workshop Held
Main Street Awards Held
Trust Holds Regional Meetings In Des Moines
CDBG Water/Sewer Awards Made
Fund Awards Still Conditional
Iowa Film Office at
Available From Tourism Show In Los Angeles
Unity Day Scheduled
Office to Team With Iowa State Fair
Development Fund Ward Made to Clinton
Presents Leadership, Betterment and Hall of Fame Awards
Volunteer Awards Program Expanded
Calendar of Events
Economic Development Top Stories
Major initiatives to
transform the Iowa
economy were advanced recently with incentives put in place to
keep Iowa competitive for
1,910 jobs and $102.3 million in new investments. The Iowa Values Fund Board and
the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) Board moved the proposals
forward recently, awarding financial and tax incentives to 11 business
projects. The department also took action on five other projects.
The Iowa Values Fund Board approved
investments in the following concerns:
- A telecommunications company headquartered in Des Moines, Lighthouse Communications, is
leveraging a prestigious customer base and strong engineering staff to
expand into “pay as you use” Information Technology (IT)
services. The new IT services for small and medium size businesses will
create and retain 125 jobs paying an average wage of more than $25 per
Iowa Values Fund Board approved a $723,000
- Data Builder Inc., a joint venture of The Weitz
Company and Emerging Growth Group, plans significant growth in management
systems that link contractors, architects, suppliers and building owners.
As the company begins nationwide marketing and meets accelerating interest
in its technology products, 36 jobs will be created at an average wage of
$16.90 per hour and five jobs retained. Based in Des Moines, Data Builder wants to roll out a
second generation product for construction project closeouts and expand
project control technology to real time documentation. The Iowa Values Fund Board approved a $116,000
investment in Data Builder.
- The Iowa Values Fund Board approved a $3.5 million investment to
assist Fort Dodge Animal Health with a major expansion and retention of
921 manufacturing and 120 research jobs. The projects include a new
150,000 sq. ft. hub distribution center and upgrading facilities.
Additional incentive applications are pending
Following approval by the IDED Board, investments in Bettendorf, Carter Lake, Clinton and Dyersville
were approved by the Iowa Values Fund Board from funds
it has earmarked for the Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA).
- Autotech Technologies, which was damaged by a
fire last February, will receive a $140,000 CEBA investment to rebuild and
expand the production facility in Bettendorf. The $16 million project would
create 30 jobs and retain 40 at an average wage of $16.96 per hour.
- infoUSA Marketing, Inc. was awarded
$455,000 to create and retain 135 jobs and open a new technology office in
Carter Lake. The average wage is $18.87 per
- Clinton is
competing with other Blue Ridge Paper Products locations for the flexible
packaging lines from a closed facility in Texas. To
assist in recruiting the project to Iowa, the
IDED Board approved a $150,000 CEBA investment for new production that
would create 46 jobs at an average wage of $12.62 per hour.
- Retaining a distribution center
in Dyersville and making it state-of-the-art is the goal of a $400,000
investment approved by the IDED Board for RC2 Corporation, formerly known
as Racing Champions Ertl. A producer and distributor of high quality
collectibles and toys sold worldwide, RC2 is looking at Dyersville for a
more efficient logistics facility. If Dyersville gets the project, it is
anticipated that approximately $3 million would be invested to expand an
existing building and upgrade equipment and technology. The project would
create and retain 184 jobs at an average wage of $18 per hour.
At its meeting, the IDED
Board approved investments from remaining CEBA funds in Cedar Falls and Peosta.
- The Mudd Group, a national supplier of
advertising and marketing services to auto dealers, is proposing to build
a state-of-the-art television and film studio in Cedar Falls, creating 25 jobs at an average
wage of $13.23 per hour. The new Muddville Studios will be housed in a
15,000 sq. ft. building to be technologically integrated into The Mudd
Group Campus. The project was awarded $75,000 in CEBA funds.
New Hampshire-headquartered On Point Display is
considering Peosta for a $1.9 million facility to provide point of purchase
displays, fulfillment and contract packaging for food, beverage, cosmetics,
pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturers. A CEBA award for $150,000
was approved for the project. On Point is negotiating to lease a 244,800 sq. ft
building in Peosta where it would create 48 jobs at an average wage of $16.41
Acting on requests from
Waterloo and West Des Moines, the IDED Board approved two major
projects for tax benefits from the New Capital Investment Program (NCIP).
- The IDED Board approved the application of
Ferguson Enterprises, the nation’s largest plumbing supply
distributor. Ferguson plans to build a distribution
center to serve the Midwest and Canada on a 134-acre site in northeast Waterloo.
- Also approved for NCIP tax incentives by the IDED
Board was the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage construction project announced
last year in West Des Moines. NCIP provides tax credits, tax
refunds and tax exemptions for large investments in Iowa.
In other activity, the
IDED Board approved new Enterprise Zones for development
incentives in Decatur, Kossuth,
Mitchell, Shelby and Union counties.
The IDED also has
recently taken action on the following projects:
- First Avenue Coffees & Teas, Inc., a coffee
house to be located in Cedar Rapids, was approved for a grant in the
amount of $3,000 from the Targeted Small Business (TSB) Program.
Funds are to be used to assist with start-up expenses.
- Benchmade Knives & Ammo of Garwin was
approved for a loan in the amount of $15,000 from TSB. Funds are to
be used for remodeling, furniture and fixtures, and supplies. Benchmade
Knives & Ammo makes specialty knives and ammunition.
- Southern Cross Cycles, Inc. in Waucoma was
approved for a loan in the amount of $10,000 from the Self Employment Loan
Program (SELP). Funds are to be used for building remodeling, a new
furnace, installation of office equipment and utilities deposits.
Southern Cross Cycles, Inc. will provide sales and service of motorcycles
and all terrain vehicles.
- Chore Corps of Cedar Rapids was approved for a
loan in the amount of $10,000 from SELP. Chore Corps was established in
2002 and provides a variety of “chore” services to homeowners
including lawn care, window washing, house cleaning, etc.
- S & C Graham Foto & Design of Cedar Falls was approved for a loan in the
amount of $10,000 from SELP. S & C Graham Foto & Design
offers full service commercial photography and graphic design services.
Business Development News
Governor Tom Vilsack, First Lady Christie Vilsack, IDED
Director Mike Blouin, and IDED Board of Directors member Marcia Rogers led a delegation of
28 people from Iowa to New Zealand in March to discuss trade and investment
opportunities in biotechnology. The Iowa delegation included representatives of Iowa's research universities, trade
associations, animal and plant science companies and venture capital providers.
Emphasis was placed on strategic collaborations that would facilitate
development of technologies and make them commercially viable to the economic
advantage of both parties. According to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise 170
persons attended various meetings with the Iowans. The delegation also
met with Prime Minister Helen Clark and three cabinet ministers. A verbal
invitation to visit Iowa in early June was offered to New
IDED Staff have completed a two-week investment trip to Europe, holding many successful meetings with
European businesses. At least 4 companies will visit Iowa in the near future to investigate doing
business here and new relationships have been advanced.
IDED staff met with 10 different insurance/financial services
companies in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, from March 15-18, developing several
potential new projects and improving prospects for the future.
IDED staff also recently conducted a business prospecting
trip to Arizona.
Six of the 12 businesses visited currently have operations in Iowa. The trip yielded several potential
projects, from new and existing businesses, that may be implemented within the
next 24 months.
IDED attended the American Wind Energy Association’s
Global Wind power
2004 Conference and Exhibition in Chicago recently. Many international and
domestic vendors were in attendance and presenting products. Four firms
expressed interest in investigating locating their North American manufacturing
facilities in Iowa.
The IDED recently awarded funds to two companies during March from the
Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP), which provides financial
assistance for participating in international trade shows or trade missions.
Approved for funds during March were HELC Corp., Des Moines for Canada and Vector
Corp., Marion for the United
The Materials Testing Service program, a
partnership between Recycle Iowa (IDED) and the University of Northern Iowa, has recently completed engineered
testing services for the following Iowa businesses developing new recycled
content products: Damon Enterprises (Dewar), Standard Golf (Cedar Falls), Waterloo Industries (Waterloo), Engineered Rubber Products (West Liberty), and General Environmental (Des Moines). The program recently linked
Standard Golf with another client, Plastic Recycling (Iowa Falls) that resulted in a successful joint
venture for the production of recycled content golf products.
The Iowa Waste Reduction Center and IDED will be
to assist businesses Risk Management Plans (RMP) renewal. This plan is
required for businesses with specific chemicals, including anhydrous
ammonia. For more information, please contact Wendy Walker at (800)
351-4668 or the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at (800) 422-3109.
Ottumwa, May 12, 2004
Iowa City, May 13, 2004
Waterloo, May 19, 2004
Ames, May 20, 2004
IDED project managers attended the first-ever World Congress
Biotechnology and Bioprocessing to be held recently in Orlando, FL. The managers also made prospecting calls
on businesses in the area. Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), American
Chemical Society (SCS) and the National Agriculture Biotechnology Council (NABC)
hosted the event.
The Human Resource Recruitment Consortium (HRRC) hosted a
booth at the
National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related
Sciences (MANRRS) Career Fair at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel. The goal of
MANRRS is to promote the agricultural sciences and related fields to ethnic
Community Development News
The Main Street
Iowa program announced its newest Main Street community, Mason City on March 19.
The final in a
series of six small business development workshops was
held on March 23rd in Pella.
The focus was on Succession Planning for existing businesses. A
total of 353 people were in attendance for some or all of the
The 17th Annual Main Street
Awards was held on April
2, 2004 at the Temple for the
Performing Arts in Des Moines. Over 375
people from across Iowa attended the
event. The event celebrated the best of the best in downtown development
efforts over the past year.
The National Trust for
Historic Preservation Midwest
Regional office held its spring meetings in Iowa. The
meetings were held in Cedar Falls with a tour to Waterloo as
well. IDED Staff helped plan the meetings which were attended by 21
people representing eight states.
The IDED Recently made
8 additional conditional awards from the CDBG water/sewer fund and
community facilities & services fund in the amount of $2.9 million. For more information, contact Hank Manning
Fund Awards announced March
3, 2004 remain conditionally funded since the
IDED has not yet received a letter of commitment from federal department of
Housing and Urban Development. A Recipient Workshop was held for these
"conditionally" funded recipients on March 24 and 25, 2004. The effective date and contracting will
follow HUD's conveyance of the money to the IDED. For more information, contact Terry Vestal
Iowa was represented at
the Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica, California, April 16 - 18.
The show provides an opportunity to talk to location managers about filming in Iowa. For more
information, contact Tom Wheeler at 515.242.4726.
POW WOW Marketplace was
held in Los Angeles
from April 24 - 28. This is a marketplace for international
tour operators. All leads gathered at the show will be shared with the tourism
industry for follow up.
For more information, contact Mark Eckman at 515-242-4770.
Iowa Tourism Unity Day
will be held April 30 at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines. Tourism leaders
will be recognized and a keynote message about customer service will be
provided by Doug Lipp. The 2005 cooperative advertising options will be
announced. For more information, contact Lonie Mezera at 515-242-4727.
Tourism Office is teaming up with the Iowa State
Fair to celebrate National Tourism Week, May 8 - 16. During this
week, travelers stopping at any of the 21 Iowa welcome centers will can
register to win tickets to the Iowa State Fair. For more information,
contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.
The East Central
Intergovernmental Association, on behalf of Clinton Area Development
Corp., received a Community development Fund award for $25,000 for a Clinton
Area Bio-Tech/Advanced Manufacturing Project. For more information,
contact Cali Beals at 515.242.4723.
Governor Vilsack recently
presented Governor's Youth Leadership, Iowa Community
Betterment, and Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame awards to 19 Iowa individuals,
communities, and organizations during a special volunteer recognition ceremony
held in the State Historical Building.
This year, the Governor's
Volunteer Awards program has been expanded to
nonprofit organizations with an opportunity to recognize their volunteers and,
to allow organizations to honor their long-time volunteers with a Length of
Service Award. Nomination deadline is May 7, 2004. IDED
staff and board members may request nomination materials from Susan Drake,
Calendar of Events
View the IDED
Calendar of Events listings here:
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