Business Loans

GROW IOWA provides low-interest financing for business starts, expansions and other community development projects. We work in conjunction with local and regional banks to increase small business and industry lending by providing additional, flexible credit helping the borrower fit the bank’s underwriting criteria.

Over half of Grow Iowa borrowers have started new business enterprises while another quarter have expanded currently operating business. Other projects have focused on the retention of area businesses and industrial development. Grow Iowa can finance most business and industry needs in the region with the exception of production agriculture.

Small Business Loan Examples

A $100,000 loan in 1996 to a former employee of an equipment manufacturing business to buy it from a local bank after the business was forced to close. Since then the business has expanded several times including an additional $250,000 Grow Iowa loan in 2008 to add another company to their line. Because of the business expansion, the number of employees has steadily expanded from 2 to 70 and sales have more than tripled.

A $150,000 loan in 2004 to locate a large value-added agriculture processing facility in the region. Grow Iowa’s loan was a slice of the much larger financing needed to open the plant. There are now over 200 employees of the facility.

Applicants must provide a portion of the project cost as equity through personal resources or grant funds.

Up to 50% of the project can be financed through Grow Iowa (max. loan $250,000). Remaining project costs are most often financed through a commercial lending institution.

Loan terms up to 10 years, depending on project and collateral; Interest Rate – variable, adjusted annually and determined at the time of application.

Application Eligbility

Individuals, cities, counties, cooperatives, businesses, non-profit and for-profit corporations are eligible to apply for financing – all applicants must have the authorization of a sponsoring agency, such as a county or regional development corporation, city, county or chamber of commerce.

  • Business acquisition, construction, conversion, enlargement, repair, modernization or development costs.
  • 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.
  • Tourist facilities such as restaurants, hotels or recreation centers.

Application Procedure

Applicants must discuss their project with Grow Iowa prior to submitting an application to ensure eligibility.

Applicants are encouraged to complete the application in conjunction with their local lender.

Send original copy of the completed application, attachments, and a $150 application fee should be mailed to Grow Iowa. In addition to the physically mailed application, you will need to scan a copy and email it to

Loan applications will be reviewed by a regional loan committee within 15 business days. If approved, an additional 30-45 days may be required to gain USDA approval, prepare loan documentation and cut the final check if an environmental review is required by USDA.

A one percent (1%) administrative management fee is charged at the loan closing.