Downtown Partners wants to help your business succeed! Whether you are starting a new business, expanding an existing one, or just in need of a business tune-up, many programs are available to help you turn your Downtown dreams into reality. If you are seeking information about funding, training or assistance with your business plan, check out these resources.
The Small Business Development Center is the only nationally accredited entrepreneurial development program in Iowa. The Small Business Development Center conducts research, counsels, and trains business people in management, financing, and operating small businesses, and provides comprehensive information services and access to experts in a variety of fields. Small Business Development Center offices develop and maintain partnerships among community organizations and local, state and federal agencies, providing a focal point for broad networks of public and private resources at the community level.
The Small Business Development Center and the Greater Burlington Partnership have created this invaluable guide to opening a business in Burlington.
Burlington's Small Business Development Center is located in RiverPark Place, 610 N. Fourth St., Suite 201, adjacent to the Greater Burlington Partnership offices. Visit www.iowasbdc.org/regional-centers/burlington.aspx or call 319-208-5381 for more information.
Blade Sign Grant Program With the Downtown Partners Business Signage Grant Program, applicants may receive up to $500 in matching grant funds for perpendicular “blade” signage for their businesses! Blade signs have a number of benefits:
- Accentuating the traditional historic and walkable character of downtown
- Emphasizing the downtown district as a collection of small, independent, locally owned businesses
- Adding to the liveliness of the streetscape
- Freeing up sidewalk space occupied by sandwich board signs
- Encouraging businesses to explore their individuality and examine their branding
- Increasing business visibility for potential customers who would otherwise not know anything about the business unless they were directly in front of it
The Southeast Iowa Revolving Loan Fund is administered by the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission . The primary objective of the Economic Development Administration revolving loan fund (EDA RLF) is private sector job creation and capital formation for expansion or start-up projects and has a goal of creating or retaining one job for each $10,000 lent. Low interest loans are available for up to $125,000 at a competitive interest rate. For more information, go to www.seirpc.com or call SEIRPC at 319-753-5107.
The Main Street Loan Program is a partnership of the Iowa Finance Authority and Main Street Iowa . Mortgage loans of $50,000 to $250,000 are available for qualified applicants wishing to create upper story housing or commercial space. For more information, go to http://iowafinanceauthority.gov/Public/Pages/PC115LN11 or call the Iowa Finance Authority office in Des Moines at 800-432-7230.
The IowaMicroLoan Program provides loans, grants and technical assistance for startup, expansion, or refinancing of small business entrepreneurs. IowaMicroLoan has created a fund to provide a source of capital for microentrepreneurs seeking a direct loan of $5,000 to $50,000 or a co-financing arrangement of up to $150,000. Applicants must have applied for a loan at a traditional credit source and have been denied before either of these opportunities is available. This is a program of the Iowa Foundation for Microenterprise and Community Vitality. For more information, call 515-212-0182, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.iowamicroloan.org.
The Des Moines County Business Plan Competition has officially been launched by the Greater Burlington Partnership. The competition is funded by investment pledges received during the organization's Partnering for the Future campaign. For more information, visit Information and registration is at www.greaterburlington.com/chamber/starting-a-business/business-plan-competition/.
The Iowa Capital Access Program helps secure needed financing to launch, retain, or expand business operations in Iowa. ICAP encourages lending institutions to consider small business loans that fall outside of conventional underwriting criteria by providing loan portfolio insurance to reduce lender risk and help businesses retain and create jobs. For more information, contact Steve Cruse at 515-223-4511 ext. #103 or email@example.com.
The Iowa Small Business Loan Support Program aids Iowa entrepreneurs and small businesses in their efforts to access capital for business purposes including start up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, and inventory, as well as the renovation or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes. Iowa small businesses that are owned, operated and actively managed by an Iowa resident and have 750 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible to apply. For more information, contact Jason Yates at 515-401-8290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund promotes the formation and growth of businesses engaging in the transfer of technology into competitive, profitable companies that create high paying jobs.
The funds are designed to support commercializing research, launching new start-ups and accelerating private investment and industrial expansion efforts resulting in significant capital investment. The fund provides financing to eligible businesses through three program components that correspond to three different stages of growth for investment-grade, high-growth enterprises:
- Iowa LAUNCH for pre-seed capital stage financing
- Iowa PROPEL for seed capital stage financing
- Iowa INNOVATION EXPANSION for expansion-stage financing
Contact Gail Kotval at 515-725-3192 or email@example.com.
For more information on these programs, visit www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/business/ssbci.aspx
Additional grants and low-interest loans may become available throughout the year.