Economic Development

As the Economic Development Administration’s designated Economic Development District for the region, SICOG has the technical expertise to provide economic development services to member communities. The following is a list of services that SICOG offers as well as a description of how each service can benefit a community.

Census Data – The 2020 Census provides an accurate snapshot of what a community looks like at the time of the census. The data collected is very useful in identifying vulnerable populations, economically depressed populations, and other trends that may not always be readily apparent. When combined with the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) service offered by SICOG, full count and estimate Census Data can be displayed in map form, thus allowing communities to identify spatial trends.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) – The Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), created by SICOG, is updated yearly and provides an overview of regional activities, highlight Program activities from the previous year, addresses changes in the regional economy, and identifies regional priorities for the current year. The CEDS is an excellent economic development tool because it not only includes yearly updates to provide current economic data, but as a part of the process local communities in the SICOG region identify their top priority areas. The CEDS also allows local communities to think about economic development and its potential regional impact. CEDS Final 2022 – Five Year Update

Grant Writing – There is money available from various sources for local governments and other organizations to apply for. SICOG offers free grant writing services to member communities. From Community and Tourism (CAT) grants to Community Development Block Grants, SICOG is available to help communities find funding for needed projects. Giving a project a “jumpstart” through securing funding can allow economic development in a community which may otherwise not have occurred. For more information about grant writing, please visit here.

Loan Packaging Assistance – SICOG can help individual communities and companies assemble financing through available government programs. A well-used program that is available is the Economic Development Set-Aside (EDSA) program that offers financing based upon the number of jobs to be created. For more information about available funding, please visit the Grant Opportunities section of this website.


Grants are available for economic development projects. Grants can help fund development projects and programs from the planning stage through implementation and operation. Almost any project, program, or initiative can be funded in part by funding from grant sources outside of the city. SICOG has experience with construction, equipment, staffing, planning, and operations grants. SICOG offers free grant writing services to member communities. Visit the Grant Opportunities page for a full listing of grants available.

The following are Economic Development specific grants that are available.


Funding Uses

Eligible Applicants

Estimated Deadlines

USDA Renewable Energy for America Program Funding for renewable energy projects and energy efficiency projects, feasibility studies Businesses, farmers, and farm-related operations Ongoing, pending approval of new farm bill
USDA Rural Business Opportunity Program Rural business incubators, technology-based economic development, feasibility studies and business plans, long-term business strategic planning, leadership and entrepreneur training Local governments, nonprofit groups, and rural cooperatives Varies
Statewide Transportation Enhancement Enhance transportation through trails, historic, archeological, scenic, or environmental projects Local governments October 1
Rise –Local Development Program Road construction and development in support of economic development projects Local governments Winter/Spring

Available Funds (RLF)

The Southern Iowa Development Group, Inc’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), that is administered by SICOG, was established with grant funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to provide financing for industrial activities, start-up businesses, and the expansion of businesses. The goal of the RLF is to assist in the creation of permanent private sector jobs.

The RLF is not intended to duplicate or replace the capacity of banks or other lending organizations, nor will the fund be managed with the same objectives as conventional financing. Funding has been designated to finance primarily industrial activities and start-up and expansion businesses.

Any private developer, development group, city, or county, which is actively involved in an economic development project located in the SICOG area, is an eligible applicant. Eligible loans include, but not limited to acquisition and/or improvement of land, buildings, equipment, fixtures, inventory, and limited working capital.

Eligible projects must submit a pre-application that is reviewed by the Review Committee. Approved applications are requested to submit a full application with a detailed business plan. Approved applications are recommended to the SICOG Board of Directors for funding. A 1.5% application fee is due when the full application is submitted. All closing costs are the responsibility of the applicant.

If you would like additional information, please visit the SIDG page.

For funding criteria and loan terms, please contact SICOG by calling our office at 641.782.8491.