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Iowa Economic Development Grants Assist Eight Firms In Development-Expansion Throughout The Hawkeye State

The Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded grants and tax benefits to eight companies for job creation and expansion projects in Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Norwalk, Carter Lake, Rose Hill, Coralville and Johnston. The awards will assist in the creation of 91 jobs and result in over $90 million in new capital investment.

“This month’s projects and awards continue to validate Iowa’s business-friendly environment and educated workforce,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham. “We are pleased to see that businesses, both large and small, continue to find prosperity and success in Iowa.”

In Sioux City, FEH Associates, Inc. is an architectural and structural engineering firm that plans to lease a facility for their operations. The board awarded FEH benefits through the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program for this $20,000 capital investment. The project is expected to create four jobs and retain 14 jobs.

In Cedar Rapids, General Mills plans to convert a warehouse into a food-grade manufacturing space. The board awarded the company $200,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits for a proposed project. The $47 million capital investment is expected to create 41 new jobs.

In Davenport, Hardi North America designs, manufactures and distributes a broad range of agricultural sprayers. The company plans to build an addition to support a new product line at its Davenport manufacturing facility. The manufacturer was awarded tax benefits for this $2.1 million capital investment project. The project is expected to create 24 jobs, of which four are incented.

In Norwalk, Loffredo Gardens Inc. is a regional fresh produce distribution company that sells produce to customers in seven Midwestern states. The board awarded the company tax benefits to build a new facility in Norwalk for its fresh-cut produce and perishable food division. Loffredo will continue to operate its distribution center in Des Moines as its primary headquarters. This project will result in a $7 million capital investment and is expected to create six jobs.

In Carter Lake, Owen Industries, Inc. supplies fabricated steel for commercial, industrial and nuclear projects. The company was awarded $50,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits for a project to expand operations to a new green-field facility and add several major pieces of processing equipment to meet customer requirements. The $33.6 million capital investment is expected to create 16 new jobs and retain 72 jobs, of which 20 are incented.

Financial awards were also granted to three start-up firms. The Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund promotes the formation and growth of businesses that engage in the transfer of technology into competitive, profitable companies that create high- paying jobs.

In Rose Hill, AccuGrain plans to commercialize a patented X-Ray technology from Iowa State University for the purpose of deploying grain-measuring devices for grain as it moves between storage and usage points, where scale technology is either not available or not practical. End users of this technology would include farmers, grain terminals and grain processing facilities. The company was awarded a $35,000 royalty through the Innovation Acceleration Fund for prototype development.

In Coralville, RAMDO Solutions, LLC was founded to commercialize a software solution developed at the University of Iowa under grants by the United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. The company believes Reliability-Based Design Optimization is the industry ideal for reducing product costs while improving reliability. RAMDO plans to market its software tool as a plug-in to existing Computer-Aided Engineering commercial platforms, and as a stand-alone enterprise system. The board awarded the company a $100,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund for product refinement, market entry activities and to purchase equipment.

In Johnston MAKO Enterprises is a manufacturer and distributor of a tool used for leveling new concrete. Its patented tool assembly consists of a driver and a screed support, called a FinCap, used to support a screed used for leveling poured concrete. The Johnston-based company was awarded a $125,000 loan through the Innovation Acceleration Fund for IP development and market entry activities.

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