This fund assists businesses who are creating new jobs by providing a direct or forgivable loan or through infrastructure projects. It also provides industry driven training assistance designed to help the underemployed and working poor obtain the training and skills they need to move into available higher-skill, better-paying jobs. Assistance is provided to leverage private financing in business activities resulting in the creation or retention of jobs principally for low- and moderate-income persons. *Although the program provides financial assistance to businesses, the application must come from a public “sponsor”. Iowa cities under 50,000 population (with the exception of Cedar Falls) and all counties are eligible to apply on behalf of business within their jurisdiction.
Economic Development Set-Aside (EDSA)
The program provides financial assistance to those businesses and industries requiring such assistance in order to create new job opportunities. Assistance is provided to encourage new business start-ups, expansion of existing businesses, new capital investment, and/or the relocation of out-of-state businesses into Iowa. Assistance may be provided in the form of direct loans or forgivable loans.
Priority is given to projects that will create manufacturing jobs, add value to Iowa resources and/or increase exports out of state. Preference will be given to those businesses which will create or retain the greatest number of jobs with the least amount of program dollars. Refinancing or restructuring of existing loans and projects involving a single retail establishment will be considered low priorities. In order to receive funding, programs must be “necessary and appropriate” and only the minimum amount of EDSA funds necessary to meet this may be provided. The only three valid criteria to determine this need are: a financing gap, insufficient return on investment or location disadvantages.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) EDSA program - Updates/ Program changes
- EDSA administrative rules have been amended. Amended rules became effective on
- EDSA is no longer tied to state wage/benefit requirements
- New wage threshold for EDSA is 80 percent of the laborshed wage
- Companies receiving funds must offer health and dental coverage
- Maximum award remains $1 million
- Public facilities set aside (PFSA) eliminated and rolled into EDSA. No need for separate program
- Same federal requirements apply- 51 percent of jobs filled by low and moderate income individuals, required environmental review, etc.
The Career Link program is an industry-driven training program that invests in projects that assist low and moderate income individuals obtain the training and skills they need to move into available higher-skill, higher wage jobs. Employers assist training providers with designing a training curriculum based on the company’s needs. Training models must be based on documented training needs in the defined service area and must establish partnerships linking potential program participants with business needs and job opportunities.
The Career Link program can also be used to address other employment barriers by providing funding for employment related transportation services. Eligible activities include transportation services for individuals to job activities and adult students to educational training/instructional opportunities. The majority of beneficiaries (individuals utilizing transportation) must reside in non-entitlement communities.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Career Link program - Employment transportation projects:
- Eligible applicants are non-entitlement cities (under 50,000) or counties. Funds will flow through the local government to a non-profit transportation entity providing the transportation services.
- The majority of beneficiaries (individuals utilizing transportation) must reside in non-entitlement communities.
- Eligible activities will include transportation services for individuals to job activities and adult students to educational training/instructional opportunities.
- Participating businesses may not include retail or service businesses. A service business is a business providing services to a local consumer market which does not have a significant proportion of its sales coming from outside the state.
- The maximum grant award for employment related transportation projects will be $150,000.
- IEDA will require a 1 for 1 cash match for projects. Matching funds can be a combination of funds from participating businesses, local, state, and federal funds.
- Funds will be used for operational expenses only (not buses/equipment)
- For each project, the majority of beneficiaries (51%) must be low to moderate income individuals, as defined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Grant recipients must document compliance by collecting income surveys from project beneficiaries.