Business & Industry

Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation supports the growth of existing business and industry and the creation of new businesses. Recent efforts have aided in the creation of a 45 million gallon ethanol plant, expansion projects for two local employers and the purchase of a speculative building in the Snap-On Industrial Park. Local and state incentives along with support from the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors make PACEDC a player in economic development.

The business and industrial base of the county supports a number of employers (excluding government and school) with an on-site workforce exceeding 100 employees. In addition, Fortune 500 companies have production facilities in Palo Alto County. Although these familiar names employ many citizens, local firms represent a large part of Palo Alto County's total employment.

Manufacturers will find Palo Alto County within one hour's drive to Interstate 35 traversing north/south and Interstate 90 traversing east/west. Major markets including St. Louis, Omaha, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Des Moines, Kansas City and Chicago are within one day's drive.

Rural living in Palo Alto County means that you are well-connected to the world. Each community has a fiber optics line available for telephone communications, local dial-up connections for Internet access and T1 line capabilities. Hybrid Fiber Coax/Fiber, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), wireless connections, and Virtual Private Networking (VPN) capabilities are available. Local school districts and Iowa Lakes Community College provide video conferencing and tele-commuting courses through the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). Palo Alto County has the only Tier 2 Internet provider in northwest Iowa.

Employers will find an educated and productive workforce in Palo Alto County.

Local businesses and industries benefit from a strong network of professional services to support their economic activities. Palo Alto County has a strong financial services industry with twelve financial institutions and eighteen offices scattered throughout the county. Banks are found in all incorporated Palo Alto County communities. Palo Alto County financial institutions have almost $400 million on deposit. Palo Alto ranks 30th in total deposits out of 99 counties in Iowa. When compared to other non-metropolitan counties in Iowa, Kossuth ranks 21st overall in total deposits. Palo Alto County financial institutions have a long history of working with individuals and businesses in Palo Alto County with many institutions chartered over 75 years ago.

Accounting, insurance, investment, and legal professionals help area businesses prosper. Palo Alto County is home to twenty Certified Public Accountants, eighty insurance agents, thirty-five registered investment representatives and twenty-eight practicing attorneys. In addition, Palo Alto County has a full-time county attorney, a resident District Court Judge, a resident Senior District Court Judge and a former Iowa Supreme Court Justice.

Financial Incentives

Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA) — financing packages that work with private and local sources.

Economic Development Set-Aside (EDSA) — provides forgivable loans and direct loans to businesses.

Value-Added Agricultural Products & Processes Financial Assistance Program (VAAPFAP) — promotes and encourages the value-added processing of Iowa agricultural commodities.

Iowa Small Business — provides financing to new and expanding businesses through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.

Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) — these privately owned investment firms provide capital plus funds borrowed at favorable rates with an SBA guarantee to bridge the gap between availability of venture capital and the needs of small businesses in start-up and growth situations.

Venture Network of Iowa (VNI) — a statewide forum via the Iowa Communications Network where Iowa entrepreneurs, investors and business advisors interact and find financial and intellectual capital.

Small Business Administration Loan Programs — provides a number of guaranteed loan programs for small business.

Iowa Business Growth Company — provides fixed-asset loans for land, buildings, remodeling, new construction or equipment.

Iowa Agriculture Innovation Center - provides assistance to Iowa agricultural producers in business plan assistance, feasability studies, marketing development, technology assistance, producer grants, and web design. For more information, visit them on the web.