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BOARD ACTION: IEDA Board Approves Assistance for 3 Companies Awards for 3 Service Providers Supporting Diverse Entrepreneurs

April 16, 2021

For more information contact:
Ms. Kanan Kappelman, 515.348.6248

IEDA Board Approves Assistance for Three Companies, Awards for Three Service Providers Supporting Diverse Entrepreneurs

April 16, 2021 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for three Iowa companies, which will assist in the creation of 59 jobs and result in nearly $246.3 million in new capital investment for the state. These projects are located in Cedar Rapids and Butler and Webster counties. The board also approved three grants through the Entrepreneurial Investment Award program.

Sadler Power Train to expand in Cedar Rapids
Sadler Power Train is a distributor of light, medium and heavy-duty truck parts to customers in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. It also remanufactures driveshafts, differentials and transmissions. The company has a few locations in Iowa and plans to construct a 10,000 square foot addition to their Cedar Rapids facility that will allow for increased remanufacturing capacity and inventory storage. The project represents a $1.2 million capital investment and is expected to create four jobs, of which one is incented at a qualifying wage of $23.20 per hour. The board awarded the project tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program.

Butler County startup company to construct new facility
Shell Rock Soy Processing LLC, a startup company in Butler County, plans to construct a new soybean crushing facility. With a focus on export outside of Iowa, the company will process soybeans sourced from farmers in a multi-state region and then produce crude soybean oil that will be sold to refiners across the United States for food processing and biodiesel manufacturing. They will also produce soybean meal for the livestock industry and pelleted soybean hulls. The company plans to construct buildings and storage across 48 acres, totaling approximately 150,000 square feet of space. The project represents a $224.6 million capital investment and the board awarded tax benefits through the HQJ program. It is expected to create 51 jobs at a qualifying wage of $20.71 per hour.

CJ Bio America Inc. to increase capacity in Webster County
CJ Bio America in Fort Dodge manufactures amino acids through mass fermentation technology. Utilizing corn-derived dextrose from the neighboring Cargill facility, the company produces amino acids primarily for swine and poultry growers throughout North America. The company plans to expand its footprint and capacity with the construction of a new production building and acquisition and installation of machinery and equipment. The project is expected to create four jobs at a qualifying wage of $19.47 per hour and represents a capital investment of approximately $20 million. The board awarded the project tax benefits through the HQJ program.

Grants awarded to three service providers supporting diverse entrepreneurs

Three entrepreneurial service providers were awarded grants via the Entrepreneurial Investment Award (EIA) program. The program provides financial assistance to service providers that offer technical and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and startup companies seeking to create, locate or expand a business in Iowa. The maximum amount that the IEDA Board will award for fiscal year 2021 is $500,000.  In addition, the board will award no more than $200,000 to any one service provider per fiscal year. The award is in the form of a grant through a competitive application process. Among the criteria for assessing this round of applications was how the initiative adds value to the Iowa entrepreneurial ecosystem, specifically those that support and enhance diversity.

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) was founded eight years ago in Cedar Rapids and supports entrepreneurship, innovation and tech education to serve startup businesses and provide skills for all individuals in Iowa to thrive. NewBoCo is partnering with Kiva, a nonprofit organization, to create a hub that gives diverse entrepreneurs access to a microlending platform to raise zero percent interest, zero fee, extended grace period loans from active lenders motivated by social impact. The project was awarded a $110,000 grant from the EIA program to pilot the hub.

Drake University’s The Startup Hub Des Moines is working in partnership with the University of Iowa to connect minorities, immigrants and other underrepresented entrepreneurs to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iowa. To build and lift this group of entrepreneurs, the partnership will work to provide one-on-one counseling and special entrepreneurship programs, addressing a lack of access, educational resources and mentorship. The project was awarded a $184,900 grant from the EIA program for recruitment and training.

The 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium (24/7 BLAC) aims to increase professional development, stimulate the creation of wealth and financial empowerment, and build networks of influence with navigational support for Black Professionals. In partnership with community organizations including the University of Northern Iowa, Red Cedar CV and Grow Cedar Valley, 24/7 BLAC offers the Black Business & Entrepreneurship Accelerator (BBEA), the only all-black accelerator program in the state. BBEA provides financial and sustainability support to new and existing minority-owned businesses in the Cedar Valley to accelerate growth and development. The project was awarded a $200,000 grant from the EIA program to support the accelerator

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the EIA Review Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.

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