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Micro Enterprise gets micro response from small businesses

MASON CITY – Nearly two years into its existence, one of city hall’s prize programs for jumpstarting small business development in Mason City is getting very little participation.

According to figures obtained from the Mason City finance department, just six businesses have participated in the Micro Enterprise program.

The new Micro Enterprise Program, which is administered by the Pappajohn Center at NIACC, began Tuesday, April 17th, 2012. Participating businesses in Mason City can apply for reimbursement funding that can be used for pre-approved goods and/or services to support their business. Grant recipients must meet qualifications and follow up requirements.

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Mason City taxpayers have sunk over $17,000 into re-imbursing businesses for varying expenses. One local business, Roller City, was re-imbursed by taxpayers for $1,752.09 worth of retail items like blue raspberry syrup, Frito BBQ chips, Kit Kats, Snickers, Milky Ways, Twix, Snappy Yellow Popcorn, and wrapped lollies and was found to have violated the terms of the program by spending $624.39 at Accelerated Wraps, then a Forest City business, and being re-imbursed for that expense.

Mason City Council member John Lee
John Lee

City council member John Lee called for a “special presentation” on Micro Enterprise program after these expenses were revealed by NIT.


Mico Enterprise Program
Participating Businesses FY 2013 FY 2014 Total per Business
D & S Sevices 611.42 597.69 1,209.11
Jumper Fitness 3,450.00 0.00 3,450.00
K & D Enterprises LLC 1,596.00 1,596.00
Roller City 3,018.47 5,000.00 8,018.47
Sapphire Salon & Spa 1,026.00 0.00 1,026.00
Tickal Family Enterprise 2,602.67 0.00 2,602.67
Total 10,708.56 7,193.69 17,902.25
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