This is a periodic newsletter for customers, partners, friends and staff of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. It contains brief news items and links for gathering more information. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter please refer to the "unsubscribe" information at the end of the newsletter, or reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. Please also reply with any comments or suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.

IDED Quick News

The news report for customers, partners and friends of the

Iowa Department of Economic Development.

December 8, 2003


Economic Development Top Stories

Business Development News

  • European Investment Trip Successful
  • Sell Iowa Trip to New York Planned
  • Japan Food Grade Soybean Mission
  • ETAP Assistance
  • Iowa Food Companies Invited to Miami
  • HRRC Alumni Event In Denver, CO
  • Venture Network Video Forum Held
  • A Taste of Iowa® Attends Private Label Show
  • A Taste of Iowa® Gift Baskets

Community Development News

  • Small Business Development Seminar Held
  • Main Street Applications Due in February
  • Downtown Assessments
  • CDBG Pre-Apps Screened
  • CDBG Water/Sewer Applications Due
  • Housing fund Applications Due
  • City Development Board Adds New Member
  • Coupons On Tourism Website
  • Community Development Fund Awards
  • Regional Angel Investment Work Continues
  • IDED Submits HUD Application
  • AmeriCorps Funding
  • Lounsbury Housed in IDED
  • Dunphy Resigns
  • "Iowa’s Promise…Our Youth" Grant Applications Available
  • Youth Development Applications Available
  • Iowa Community Betterment Award nominations
  • ICVS Plans Telethon

Calendar of Events

Privacy Statement


Economic Development Top Stories

Great River Capital is pleased to announce that the Offering Memorandum for the Iowa Fund of Funds has been finalized. For information on the Fund of Funds please call Andy Axel at 563-324-4409 x10, or send an email request to

One hundred fifty of Iowa's century and older businesses will be honored on December 8th at the Iowa Century Business Awards. The second annual awards will honor these businesses' contribution to the Iowa economy for the past 100 plus years. The awards event is jointly sponsored this year by IDED and Association of Business and Industry.

The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) Board is investing $230,000 in a management buyout to keep the Positech plant in Laurens. Management wants to buy the advanced manufacturing operation from owner Columbus McKinnon of Amherst, New York. The investment from the Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA) would create 12 jobs and retain 65 jobs at an average wage of $15.50 per hour.

A proposal to create and retain 119 jobs by consolidating operations of Lexstar Technologies in Mason City will receive a $1,250,000 short-term loan. The IDED Board recently approved a float loan from the Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA) to advance the consolidation. The agreement forgives $350,000 of the loan if the company completes the project. The 37 new jobs and 82 retained jobs will pay an average wage of $17.47 per hour. Lexstar designs and manufactures rechargeable battery systems. All manufacturing would be moved to the 89,000 square foot building that Lexstar owns in Mason City. Corporate headquarters, engineering, design, distribution, sales and other operations would also be located in Mason City.

A project to upgrade the Elkem Carbon plant in Keokuk to produce synthetic graphite for iron foundries will receive a $100,000 state investment from the CEBA. The IDED Board approved funds for the new process, which will increase sales and improve the competitiveness of the plant. The project would retain 32 jobs at an average wage of $19.53 per hour.

Governor Vilsack will recognize the applicants of the 2003 Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence process and all departments of state government involved in the 2003 Iowa Excellence process at a Celebration in West Des Moines March 4, 2004. Join Iowans from across our state in a celebration recognizing organizational leadership striving to become more competitive through the use of the National Baldrige Criteria framework. Contact the Iowa Quality Center at 319-398-7101 or visit for more information.

Business Development News

An early October trip to Europe by IDED staff and members of the Eastern Iowa European Partnership was successful in increasing interest in Iowa expansion. The focus of the trip was foreign direct investment opportunities with companies attending the ANUGA conference, Europe's largest food and food equipment manufacturing show. Over 50 appointments were arranged with firms attending the conference and outside the conference. Follow-up on 22 meetings was requested and there is a strong likelihood that at least five firms will visit Iowa in the next eight months.

A Sell Iowa trip to the New York area will take place in the second week of December. IDED staff and representatives of utilities and community development groups have scheduled meetings with insurance executives and executives of companies that have Iowa operations.

The Japan Food Grade Soybean Mission to Japan took place November 15-22. The 23 member delegation included representatives of eight Iowa companies, a freight forwarder, a soy cooking chef, Dr. Walt Fehr of Iowa State University and IDED staff. The events included one-on-one meetings, a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, a luncheon for soy oil crushers, a seminar, trade-show and reception for approximately 200 importers, distributors and end-users.

Several Iowa Companies received Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP) funds from IDED to participate in the Food Grade Soybean Mission to Japan. They are: Latham Seed Co., Alexander; Midwestern Soybean, Mason City; Dee Bee's, Milford; Profiseed Intl., Hampton; Iowa Quality Ag Guild, Columbus Junction; Green Bean Proj., Cooper; and Innovative Growers, Mason City. Other companies recently awarded ETAP funds from IDED to market at international trade shows are: NewLink Genetics, Ames; Pharmacom, Iowa City; and Advanced Analytical Tech., Ames; for the U.S. Midwest BioMission to Japan; Dee Implement, Waukon; Arts-Way Mfg., Armstrong; and A&I Products, Rock Valley; for Bread Basket of Europe, Ukraine; Dee Implement, Waukon for Asian Seed 2003, Thailand; Legacy Mfg., Marion for International Hardware Fair, Germany; Midwest Industries, Ida Grove for Edmonton Boat & Sportsman Show, Canada; Royale International, Davenport for HOFEX 2004, Hong Kong; Microsoy Corp., Jefferson for Food Ingredients Europe in Germany. A qualified company may receive up to $4,000 in financial assistance for each pre-approved event.

IDED is providing Iowa food companies the opportunity to exhibit in Miami from Dec. 3-5, at the 6th Americas Show to meet representatives from retail and food service establishments throughout the Caribbean and Latin American Markets. Iowa and five other Midwestern states are hosting a Cruise Ship Buyers' mission with the top 6 cruise lines attending to purchase food and beverages.

The Human Resource Recruitment Consortium participated in an alumni event with the Greater Des Moines Partnership on November 15 in Denver, CO. The event brought alumni together to root for the Hawkeyes during the University of Iowa vs. Minnesota football game. During the game, representatives from the Greater Des Moines Partnership, companies and the HRRC networked with the fans at the reception venue and provided information on opportunities in Iowa. The Des Moines band, the Nadas, provided entertainment.

Burt Chojnowski, founder of in Fairfield, was the featured speaker at the statewide video forum of Venture Network of Iowa on November 13. Making presentations to investors were Emmanuel Titus of NaTel Investments, Fairfield; William Schroeder and Thomas Paskach, Nitro Ice Cream, Boone; Keith Chapman, Chapman Lumber Company, Sand Springs; and Kurt Heiar, Regnea Corp, Inc. of Ames.

A Taste of Iowa® staff attended the PLMA Trade Show in Chicago on November 17 and 18, the largest trade show in the nation for manufacturers of private label products. Approximately 2,200 exhibit booths featured foods, snacks, beverages, health and beauty, household, kitchen, and leisure products that can be put under another label or companies that would be willing to produce a particular product with a private label. A Taste of Iowa® scouted the show as a possible market for smaller Iowa food companies that are co-packers and private labelers.

A Taste of Iowa® products offer a unique and tastefully delicious solution for your personal and corporate gifts. These products are perfect additions to your holiday parties and feasts. Visit for a list of A Taste of Iowa® members offering special gift packages and retail businesses selling gift baskets containing A Taste of Iowa® products.

Community Development

The fourth in a series of six small business development workshops was held in October. The series will continue through March, 2004. Attendance is averaging 90 with the vast majority of attendees purchasing the entire series. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

The application workshop for new Main Street communities was held October 23, in Story City. Applications for new Main Street communities will be due in February with announcement of new Main Street communities scheduled for March. Representatives from twenty-six communities attended the workshop. These communities are now eligible for this application cycle. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

The downtown resource center has conducted six fee-based downtown assessment visits this year with two more planned for winter. Discussions are underway with the Iowa Valley Resource & Conservation District to conduct up to twelve such visits in the Iowa City area. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

A review of 47 pre-applications for funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Community Facilities & Services Fund, resulted in 22 invitations to submit full applications. Applications are due December 19, 2003 and are available online. For more information, contact Hank Manning at 515.242.4836.

Applications to the CDBG water/sewer fund are due on December 4, 2003 and are available online. Sixty-three communities were invited to submit full applications. For more information, contact Hank Manning at 515.242.4836.

Housing Fund applications are due December 10, 2003. The Tax Credit applications (joint application with IFA) are due November 24, 2003. For more information, contact Terry Vestal at 515.242.4850.

The City Development Board met November 13 and newly appointed member Jay Howe of Greenfield joined the board at the meeting. The Board discussed changes in its administrative rules needed to implement changes to the law made in the last legislative session. For more information, contact Steve McCann at 515.242.4719.

Free coupons are featured on the tourism website from November 15 to December 31, 2003. Travelers are looking for value and the coupons will encourage travel in Iowa during the holiday period. For more information, contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.

Community Development Fund Awards: Van Buren County Board of Supervisors Conceptual Plan / Iowa Forest Heritage Center, $7,000; City of Sioux City Business Development Cluster Analysis, $17,230; City of Waterloo New Economy Targeted Industry Analysis, $15,000. For more information, contact Cali Beals at 515.242.4723.

Work continues on promoting Regional Angel Investment Networks (RAIN). A legal template is available for groups starting their own local or regional fund. Community Development staff are offering technical assistance in starting such funds for seed and angel investing. IDED staff will also be coordinating a new association for fund managers. For more information, contact Cali Beals at 515.242.4723.

The IDED submitted the annual application to the federal government’s department of housing and urban development (HUD) for funding through the CDBG, HOME, and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) programs. These programs provide over $40 million annually through IDED for community infrastructure, housing, community facilities, business assistance, and programs to reduce homelessness. Over 111 separate projects in 103 communities were funded through these programs last year. For more information, contact Mike Miller at 515.242.4807.

Notification of funding availability for AmeriCorps programs for the 2004-2005 program year will be available soon. Details will be posted at as soon as they are available.

Adam Lounsbury, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) Executive Director, will soon be housed within IDED. He will maintain an office and part-time hours in the Governor's Office.

Tina Dunphy has resigned as Senior Program Officer/Team Leader for the ICVS effective November 14. We wish her well with her new position at the Iowa office of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Applications are now available for "Iowa's Promise ... Our Youth" grants of up to $250 for qualifying youth groups to complete community service projects. Applications and grant descriptions are available at county ISU Extension offices and may be downloaded from

The Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP) of the Iowa Department of Human Rights is soliciting applications on behalf of state agencies involved in the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development (ICYD) from communities to engage in comprehensive planning and capacity building for youth development in partnership with the state. For more information, visit

Nominations for the Iowa Community Betterment Awards due January 30, 2004. Any community improvement or service project completed with the assistance of volunteers during 2003 may be nominated for an Iowa Community Betterment award in one of five categories: Community; Neighborhood; Keep Iowa Beautiful; County/Coalition; or Youth. In addition to statewide recognition, projects selected for awards receive cash prizes of up to $1,500. Guidelines and nomination materials are available from the ICVS Web site ( For more information, contact Jody Benz at 515.242.4764 or

The ICVS is once again partnering with Iowa Public Television to present the annual "Volunteer Iowa!" volunteer-a-thon on February 29, 2004. During the first live statewide broadcast volunteer hours, valued at nearly $7 million, were pledged. You can Make a Difference and help expand the spirit of volunteerism. For more information, contact Jody Benz at 515.242.4764 or


Calendar of Events

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