From Senator Amanda Ragan –
This session we are working on policies and budgets which put Iowans back to work, help businesses create jobs and improve Iowa’s economy. The Economic Development budget we are putting together this year will do just that. Senate File 430 provides incentives to attract businesses to Iowa and help existing businesses expand.
This effort includes economic development initiatives at our state universities. They work with businesses throughout the state on technology commercialization, marketing, entrepreneurship and technical assistance. New initiatives will help our three state universities work with Iowa companies to promote their goods and services outside of Iowa, support new laboratories for biorenewables and bioscience research, and expand entrepreneurship.
In addition, the Senate voted to reopen some of the workforce offices that were closed last year. These offices help connect unemployed and underemployed Iowans with businesses looking to hire.
Iowa’s main streets are the heart of our small towns and urban neighborhoods. We want to increase funding for “Main Street Iowa,” a proven program that turns historic commercial districts into thriving centers of commerce.
A recent study found that Main Street Iowa offers a great return on investment. In 2012, the estimated sales tax revenue from new businesses in Main Street communities was about 48 times the budget for the program. An average of 623 jobs are created per year through building rehabilitation alone.
For almost three decades, “Main Street Iowa” has helped communities revitalize their local economies by capitalizing on what makes them unique, including Hampton and Mason City. It takes a big commitment for a community to be accepted into the Main Street Iowa Program, but the excellent results are unmistakable. Communities interested in revitalizing their historic main streets are encouraged to apply for the Main Street Program.