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Economic Development Set-Aside (EDSA)

Working with businesses to provide employment opportunities

The Economic Development Set Aside (EDSA) program provides financial assistance to businesses and industries requiring assistance to create or retain job opportunities in Iowa. EDSA develops viable communities that provide economic opportunities for people, especially those with low- and moderate incomes.

Priority is given to projects that create manufacturing jobs, add value to Iowa resources and/or increase exports. Preference is given to businesses that create or retain the greatest number of jobs with the least amount of program dollars. Projects must demonstrate a need for assistance. The only three valid criteria to determine need are: a financing gap, insufficient return on investment or locational disadvantage.

  • Assistance provided as direct loans or forgivable loans
  • Maximum award is $1 million
  • All federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) requirements apply
  • Projects must incorporate and support Iowa’s state sustainable principles
  • Projects must be “necessary and appropriate” and only the minimum amount of EDSA funds necessary to meet this definition
  • Restructuring of existing loans and projects involving a single retail establishment are low priorities


  • Counties and cities under 50,000, except those designated as HUD entitlement areas, are eligible to apply on behalf of a business within their jurisdiction
  • At least 51% of jobs created/retained must be filled by low- and moderate income individuals (per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development definition)
  • Jobs created/retained must pay at least 80% of the area laborshed wage
  • Companies funded must offer health and dental coverage

How to Apply

  • Applications are accepted and reviewed on a continuous basis
  • Review the application instructions and apply for funding at
Program Contact(s)

Nichole Hansen

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