Southwest Iowa

Regional Resources

Grow Iowa Foundation (GIF) – The Grow Iowa Foundation provides loan capital for small businesses, industrial, manufacturing, housing and affordable housing within 22 counties in southwest Iowa. Current loan funds being managed include business lending and an upper story loan/grant program.

Iowa Entreprenerial Consortium –The Consortium, headquartered at Iowa Western Community College,  has prepared nearly 900 Iowans to asses a new business idea and learn the skills necessary to launch a business. Aspiring entrepreneurs from across the state have taken the FastTrac® New Venture™ course to develop a feasibility plan and make their dreams a reality. Small business owners also benefit from FastTrac® Growth Venture ™ training. Nearly 300 existing Iowa business owners have developed the skills required to improve or expand their business.

Rural Development Resource Center (RDRC) – Under a partnership with Iowa State University Extension, the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development, the Grow Iowa Foundation, Southwestern Community College and the Southwest Iowa Coalition, RDRC is a 22-county technical assistance provider for start-up and expansions of small to mid-size retail, service and manufacturing businesses. Technical assistance is available for business training/plans, feasibility studies, capitalization support, marketing feasibility studies/plans, business evaluations, e-commerce support and producer/grower technical assistance. This center was started through funding provided by Iowa State University, Iowa West Foundation, the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the USDA.

Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG) – is a service-oriented agency geared to assist member units of government and their affiliated groups. SICOG is organized to meet daily and long term operational and planning needs for efficiency and effectiveness of the units of government. SICOG programs are a reflection of the needs of its members. Groups that have received assistance include city and county governments, local development corporations new and existing businesses, and community based groups. Whysouthwestiowa.com counties being served are: Adams, Taylor and Ringgold. Assistance is available in a variety of areas including: Community Development – Grant Administration – Housing – Personnel Planning ­ Loan Funds – Technical Assistance – Transit – Transportation Planning. SICOG can also offer direct assistance to new or expanding industries by writing and administering grants for a variety of program funds from Local, State and Federal programs.

Southwest and South Central Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
at Southwestern Community College (SWCC) and Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) provide services to entrepreneurial start-up and existing small businesses for 22 counties in southwest Iowa. Workshops, seminars and courses that address the needs of those interested in starting a business and existing small businesses are offered throughout the year, including QuickBooks I – The Basics, QuickBooks II, Understanding Financial Statements and Smart Start.

Southwest Iowa Coalition (SWICO) – The Coalition is a 16-member, eight-county rural issues organization focused on economic development in the following areas: transportation, housing, technology training/transfer, tourism, value-added agriculture, rural water, workforce development, regional marketing and local, state and federal legislative policy.

Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO)
– provides economic development assistance in an eight-county area. Whysouthwestiowa.com counties being served are: Cass, Fremont, Montgomery, Page, and Shelby. Services include planning, grant writing and program administration. SWIPCO aids communities and businesses to establish Tax Increment Finance districts, tax abatement areas and other economic stimulus packages. SWIPCO can also offer direct assistance to new or expanding industries by writing and administering grants such as the Economic Development Set Aside (EDSA) and Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy (RISE). Through the comprehensive planning process, SWIPCO can also help communities identify suitable areas for future economic development and tailor a strategy for sustained growth.

Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development (WFRRD) – The Wallace Foundation assists in the planning and implementation of agricultural research, technology transfer and rural development in 19 southwest Iowa counties. The current focus is on alternative energy, high tunnel greenhouses for extended growing seasons and regional foods production by local niche growers for delivery into the institutional foods market.