2018 Economic
Impact Snapshot

Industrial Parks


Iowa Lakes Community College

Business & Industry

Kossuth 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 KCEDC 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 Kossuth County. Although these familiar names employ many citizens, local firms represent a large part of Kossuth County's total employment.

Manufacturers will find Kossuth 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 Kossuth 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). Kossuth County has the only Tier 2 Internet provider in northwest Iowa.

Employers will find an educated and productive workforce in Kossuth County.

Local businesses and industries benefit from a strong network of professional services to support their economic activities. Kossuth County has a strong financial services industry with twelve financial institutions and eighteen offices scattered throughout the county. Banks are found in all incorporated Kossuth County communities. Kossuth County financial institutions have almost $400 million on deposit. Kossuth 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. Kossuth County financial institutions have a long history of working with individuals and businesses in Kossuth County with many institutions chartered over 75 years ago.

Accounting, insurance, investment, and legal professionals help area businesses prosper. Kossuth County is home to twenty Certified Public Accountants, eighty insurance agents, thirty-five registered investment representatives and twenty-eight practicing attorneys. In addition, Kossuth 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.

Open to new & aggressive commerce opportunities, Kossuth County strives to assist entrepreneurs of all sizes in their success and growth. A number of financial incentives are available by contacting KCEDC:

Enterprise Zone Program — businesses locating new facilities or expanding existing facilities and creating jobs may be eligible to receive certain local and state tax benefits.

Assistive Device Tax Credit — provides tax benefits through buying or renting products or equipment or by making physical changes to the workplace to help employees with disabilities.

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

Venture Project Component of CEBA — makes equity investments to start-up and early-stage businesses.

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

Entrepreneurial Ventures Assistance (EVA) — offers technical and financial assistance to eligible start-up and early-stage enterprises.

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.

New Value-Added Grant Program Available to Iowa Business

Adding value to Iowa Corn is a growing business. To facilitate this expansion, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) is offering a new financial assistance program. The Value-Added Iowa Corn Grant Program provides financial assistance to existing and startup businesses that will increase the use of corn. Feasibility and marketing studies, business plans, process technology, and product development are among the qualifying projects, with a percentage of the total project being awarded as a grant to applicants meeting the ICPB's criteria.

For more information and application guidelines, go to the Iowa Corn website: www.iowacorn.org; go the section titled "For Farmers," then "Market Development," and finally "Value Added." Or you may contact Lucy Norton, ICPB Director of Marketing, at 515-225-9242.

USDA Increases Income Limits for Rural Housing Programs

Dr. Dan Brown, State Director of Rural Development, announced that new income limits have become effective for the agency's Rural Housing programs.

100 percent financing is available and the interest rate for families with eligible incomes may be reduced to 1 percent. USDA Rural Development is able to loan in communitites with a population of less than 20,000.

Please contact Nancy Nielsen at the USDA Rural Development office in Humboldt by calling 515-332-4411. The office located at 1301 6th Avenue North in Humboldt serves Calhoun, Humboldt, Kossuth, Pocahontas, Webster, and Wright counties.

Details about income limits can be obtained from any local Rural Development office or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov.

The Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) inviting applications for the 2010 Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) has been released. $13.2 Million is available for producer grants.

This program provides up to $500,000 assistance to producer owned value-added ventures for planning activities including feasibility studies, business plans and marketing plans. For ventures that already have a feasibility study and business plan, funds may be used for working capital expenses to operate a value-added business.

Iowa has received over $13 million over the past 3 years to fund 60 value added projects. These grants ranged from $7,200 to $500,000 for ventures including ethanol, utilization of dried distiller's grain for fertilizer, soy biodiesel, soy grease, soy oil as a source of hydrogen for fuel cells, aquaculture, organic meat marketing, beef processing facility, marketing "heat & serve" pork products, chicken litter storage/utilization facilities, etc.

The following web site contains the 2010 Announcement, Program Regulations, Awardees from previous years and the forms needed for completing an application:

This Ag Marketing Resource Center (AGMRC) web site contains valuable resources including consultants and information about existing value added activities:

State of Iowa - Statistical Comparison

Iowa is a great place to do business. For more information, see the Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin Statistical Comparison.

For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Economic Development's website for additional statistical data: http://www.iowalifechanging.com/business/statistics.aspx

Kossuth & Palo Alto County - Existing Industry Report
Report was completed by the University of Northern Iowa and provides insight into the impacts a particular industry has on the local economy. Often times this is referred to as the “multiplier effect” of dollars spent by the company and its employees that circulate through the area.   The analysis includes workforce statistics, business operations, education and healthcare data.  Click here to download the report.

Kossuth & Palo Alto County 2013 Economic Impact Snapshot
Report includes new business and  workforce statistics, business operations, education and healthcare data.
Click here to download the report.


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Maureen Elbert, Executive Director
Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation
106 South Dodge Street, Suite 210, Algona, Iowa 50511
515-295-7979 | Fax: 515-295-8873

All text and original graphics copyright © 2010
Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation