Frequently Asked Questions


Does Grow Iowa give out grants?

Grow Iowa does not operate any grant-only programs.

What counties do you serve?

Grow Iowa works in 21 counties in southwest Iowa. They include: Adair, Adams, Audubon, Carroll, Cass, Clarke, Crawford, Decatur, Fremont, Guthrie, Greene, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Shelby, Taylor and Union Counties. Not all programs are available in all counties.

To view a map of eligible counties click here.

Why don't you operate all programs in all counties?

Some of the capital that Grow Iowa has raised requires a portion of the funds to come from local sources. If a county did not help provide matching funds, we cannot finance projects in that county.

Where does Grow Iowa's money come from?

Grow Iowa has investors such as federal and state government programs, foundations and banks that provide loan capital to us that is used to finance local projects.

Is Grow Iowa a government or public entity?

Grow Iowa is a private, non-profit corporation with an IRS 501c3 status.


What types of projects are eligible?

Business acquisition; purchase and development of land, building facilities, leases or material; purchase of equipment, leasehold improvements, machinery or supplies; start-up operating costs and working capital; limited housing development.

What is the maximum amount of a loan?

Up to 50% of a total project’s cost (maximum $250,000).

What interest rate do you charge?

Variable adjusted annually, currently at 3%.

Do loans need to be collateralized?

Yes. Collateral helps ensure that Grow Iowa does not lose our investor’s capital and can continue revolving loan repayments into additional projects.

How do I apply for a loan?

Grow Iowa has loan application forms and procedures for its business loan application available in word and pdf document types.
Refer to the program pages for additional information.

Who makes the decision on my loan application and how long will it take?

Grow Iowa has a loan committee comprised of regional bankers and economic development specialists who review all loans within 15 business days of receiving a complete application. If approved, an additional 30-45 days may be required to gain approval from Grow Iowa’s investors, prepare loan documentation and cut the final check.

Why do I need to talk with someone at Grow Iowa before sending in my application?

We may be able to work with you on designing your project and application materials to ensure a greater chance of eligibility for our programs and approval by the loan committee. Applications that are not complete or meet eligibility guidelines are not referred to the loan committee for approval.

Which banks work with your program?

Any bank that is located or lends within southwest Iowa can partner with Grow Iowa’s loan programs.

Why are loan applications typically denied?
  • Poorly prepared and/or incomplete applications.
  • Lack of and/or limited commercial lender involvement.
  • Poor credit history of the applicant.
  • Inability to collateralize the debt.
  • Projections that indicate inability to service the debt.
  • Lack of applicant equity.
  • Refinancing or “bail-out” of other creditors.
  • Transfer of ownership without the threat of business closure or loss of jobs.
Can you make a loan to any business or economic development project in Southwest Iowa?

No, Grow Iowa is restricted from making loans for the following purposes:

  • Production agriculture.
  • Transfer of ownership, unless the loan will keep the business from closing.
  • Community antenna television services or facilities.
  • Lending, investment institutions and insurance companies.
  • Golf courses, race tracks or gambling facilities.

If you have a question that wasn’t answered by our FAQs page, please contact us directly and we will get you an answer!