IEDA Approves Awards to Support Over 276 Million in Capital Investments

IEDA Approves Awards to Support Over 276 Million in Capital Investments

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to nine companies for job creation and expansion projects. Today’s awards will assist in the creation of 712 jobs, retention of 81 jobs and will result in over $276 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for three startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Knoxville, Sioux City, Sioux Center, Oelwein, West Des Moines, Hiawatha, Des Moines, Le Mars and Ames.

3M Company receives assistance for project
3M is a diversified technology company that uses science to improve lives and solve problems. The company has a global presence with markets in the following business sectors:  Industrial, Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, Health Care and Consumer.  3M employs 90,000 people worldwide, with 36,000 employed in the United States. The company’s Knoxville location is planning to install trade secret manufacturing and technology to produce and convert tapes and adhesives. These plant and equipment investments are designed to meet global demand for new products and provide adequate manufacturing capacity for existing products. In addition, these capital investments improve 3M’s efficiency and productivity and expand the company’s already significant manufacturing base in Iowa. The board awarded 3M $360,000 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits from the High Quality Jobs program (HQJ) for this project, which includes building modifications, equipment procurement and installation and manufacturing. This $25.8 million capital investment is expected to create nine jobs and retain 52 jobs at a qualifying wage of $19.49 per hour.

Sioux City’s Braunger Foods to relocate to larger facility
Braunger Foods, LLC, is a 125-year old food service distribution company located in Sioux City. The company distributes food and related products to approximately 1,000 restaurants, schools and health care facilities. Braunger Foods needs to relocate to a larger facility to meet customer demands and enter new markets. The proposed project includes the purchase and remodeling of a building facility located within Sioux City for the manufacturing and distribution of the company’s products. This $4.3 million capital investment was awarded tax benefits through the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program and is set to retain 18 jobs at a qualifying hourly wage of $17.33.

Animal health company to locate in Sioux Center
Cambridge Technologies is a new company and part of the Prairie Holdings Group of companies located in Worthington, Minnesota.  Prairie Holdings Group is an agricultural-based center with a collection of companies providing a variety of products and services for animal care, health and nutrition. Cambridge Technologies manufactures and provides ingredients and other products, such as serum, to the animal health industry for animal production and care, specifically for disease prevention and care. The company is planning to establish a new production facility in Sioux Center. The company was awarded $67,500 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits via HQJ for this $820,000 capital investment that is expected to create 39 jobs, of which nine are incented at a qualifying wage of $20.77 per hour.

East Penn set to create 350 jobs in Oelwein
East Penn Manufacturing has been in business in Pennsylvania since 1946, producing high-quality batteries and battery accessories for the agricultural, automotive, commercial, marine, industrial, stationery and specialty markets. The proposed project is for the construction of a building in Oelwein for the purpose of supporting the company’s Transportation/SLI (Starting, Lighting and Ignition) battery division. The $64 million capital investment will include warehousing, auxiliary equipment buildings, fleet service building, and personnel facilities, as well as modifications in road access, water, gas, communication and electrical upgrades to satisfy electrical demand. East Penn was awarded $1,750,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits through HQJ. The project is expected to create 350 jobs at a qualifying wage of $13.55 per hour.

GAR-MRO Services, Inc. to construct new facility in partnership with Shojaat Properties
Headquartered in West Des Moines, GAR-MRO (Global Aviation Resources Maintenance Repair Overhaul) Services, Inc., is a unique service-based aviation partner with expertise in sales, lease, exchange and repair of aircraft rotable components, as well as aircraft sales and purchasing in both air transport and general aviation. Shojaat Properties, Inc. plans to construct a building to house GAR-MRO’s repair facility. The new location will provide additional component and product repair, warehouse and office space and represents a $4.9 million capital investment. The company was awarded $115,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits from HQJ. The project is expected to create 29 jobs, of which 23 are incented at a qualifying wage of $25.52 per hour.

Website marketer growing in Hiawatha, LLC operates the world’s largest domain marketplace. With almost 13 million customers in 37 countries, the company provides website building, hosting and security tools to help customers easily construct and protect their online presence. The GoDaddy Hiawatha office, with more than 600 current employees, serves as a customer care center. The proposed $6 million expansion would create 131 jobs, of which one is incented at a qualifying wage of $23.45 per hour. The board approved tax benefits through the HQJ for this proposed project.

Wells Enterprises to expand facility
Founded in 1913, Wells Enterprises, Inc. manufactures ice cream products under brand names such as Blue Bunny, Bomb Pop and Sweet Freedom. The company is planning to upgrade and modernize its existing South Ice Cream Plant located in Le Mars. The $19.3 million capital investment will include the installation of a new multi-product production line, as well as construction of a building addition with installation of additional hardening equipment. Wells Enterprises was awarded tax benefits via HQJ for this project that is expected to create 19 jobs, of which 11 are incented at a qualifying hourly wage of $20.84.

Krause Holdings granted tax benefits for new downtown Des Moines headquarters
Krause Holdings, Inc. is the privately-owned parent company of Kum & Go, LC and Sole Transport, LC dba Solar Transport. Kum & Go is the fifth largest privately-held, company-operated convenience store chain in the U.S. Due to significant business growth, Kum & Go needs to expand its corporate headquarters. The proposed project represents a $151 million capital investment and would relocate the company’s headquarters from West Des Moines to a site in downtown Des Moines. The board granted Krause Holdings tax benefits from HQJ to create 90 jobs and retain 11 jobs at a qualifying wage of $25.52 per hour.

Ames software company proposes expansion
Xpanxion is a software services company providing solutions to Fortune 1000 enterprise level companies in five states. The company has recently undergone a change in ownership that led to an expanded and more diversified service portfolio. The proposed expansion project adds dedicated training, research and development labs, and equips these areas with additional software, hardware and network infrastructure to allow the company to continue its growth. The project will have a capital investment of $360,000. Xpanxion was awarded direct financial assistance of $180,000 through the HQJ to create 45 jobs at a qualifying wage of $23.21 per hour.

Awards made to three startups

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. The funds are designed to support commercializing research, launching new startups and accelerating private investment and industrial expansion efforts that result in significant capital investment.

The Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.  The fund is designed to assist businesses with new technologies that have completed the proof of concept stage and are ready to be subjected to the rigors of the proof of commercial relevance stage that includes defining the market for the product and perfecting the product to meet market needs.

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee (TCC) to the IEDA Board for approval.

Priority 5, located in Ames, was founded in 2006 based upon the recognition of one key market need — providing situational awareness to operational personnel. Although many technology solutions were being created that increased the data available to operators within specific information silos (e.g., camera feeds, sensors and alarms, radar and sonar, video analytics, 911 calls), none of them were helping decision makers assimilate and understand the aggregate impact of these expanded data streams. The company developed the platform that would become the Touch Assisted Command and Control System (TACCS™), the first software to represent all elements of true situational awareness.  The board awarded Priority 5 a $250,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund for market planning and entry activities and key personnel.

Inland Sea LLC is an Ames-based joint venture formed in 2014 between Heartland Global and Global Aquaponic Foods. The company is planning to build state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities for salmon production. The first facility will result in a weekly harvest of almost 90,000 pounds of salmon or approximately 4.4 million pounds annually. This Iowa facility will be the first in a series of large-scale, efficient, bio-secure aquaculture production sites in the U.S. and global inland locations. Inland Sea possesses the technology and systems needed to construct and operate one of the most technologically advanced, highly automated recirculating grow-out tank systems in the world. The company was awarded a $25,000 grant from the POCR Fund for expenses in conjunction with validation of market channels for salmon from the Iowa production facility.

Established in 2012 and based in Sioux City, Sioux Natural is a food technology company that has developed a patent-pending intellectual property platform for a number of naturally-derived, plant-based zero-calorie sugar substitute products. These products offer significant benefits over existing artificial sweeteners in that they offer a true one-for-one replacement for sugar that is especially important in the commercial and home baking markets. The company has received inquiries from potential customers and distributors both nationally and internationally and is seeking to move from the product development stage to full commercialization to take advantage of increasing consumer demand for natural, healthy, low-calorie food products. The company was awarded a $25,000 grant through the POCR Fund for business model canvas activities.

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