Below is a list of business incentives and competitive grant programs offered to area businesses.
**NEW** Federally Designated Opportunity Zone - There is 1 (one) Opportunity Zone (out of 62 total Zones in the state of Iowa) located within West Des Moines city limits. The Opportunity Zone program was created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities by providing tax benefits to investors. For more on the West Des Moines Opportunity Zone, click here.
The eligibility areas for the Property Tax Rebate Program, Property Improvement Fund, Regulatory Compliance Fund, and Upper Story Housing Program (see below for program descriptions) fall within the Opportunity Zone, and may be combined with the Opportunity Zone program for maximum benefit (some exclusions may apply).
Property Tax Rebate Program - The Property Tax Rebate Program will encourage and provide assistance to property owners in the renovation and redevelopment of vacant or underutilized retail, office, mixed-use and industrial building and sites. Projects eligible for funding include major renovation of structural elements of the building. Property owners within the designated areas are eligible to apply for the Property Tax Rebate Program, which will be based on a five-year, 100% rebate of the tax increment revenues generated by the agreed upon construction, upgrades, and replacements with all rebates being subject to a non-appropriation in any given year. The property owner must enter into a development agreement with the City and must commit to creating or retaining a minimum of five (5) full-time equivalent employees in the first 2 years and retain those positions for the life of the rebate. The property owner must commit to the City that they will undertake at least $500,000 worth of construction, upgrades, and/or replacements to the property. More information about the Property Tax Rebate Program can be found here. Contact the Community & Economic Development department with interest in this program - (515) 273-0770. Click here for the application form for the Property Tax Rebate Program. Submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Property Improvement Fund - This pilot program intends to provide assistance to property owners in the renovation and upgrade of older commercial, office, industrial, and mixed use properties within the Historic West Des Moines study area. Projects eligible for funding include but are not limited to: major renovation of structural elements of the building, including new or replacement roofs; total renovation and rehabilitation of underutilized building areas; awning and facade improvements; additions to existing buildings; and the cost associated with professional services of an architect, engineer, or other design professional.
Regulatory Compliance Fund - This pilot program intends to assist property owners within the Historic West Des Moines study area in compliance with government regulations, specifically: fire sprinkler requirements; ADA compliance; installation and upgrades to electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems to bring those systems up to current building codes standards, upgrades to or installation of fire suppression systems, including range hoods; and fats, oil, and grease tank installation.
Upper Story Housing Program - The purpose of the Upper Story Housing Program is to provide financial assistance to property owners in the renovation, upgrade, and new construction of the residential portion of mixed use properties within the designated areas. Click here for more information.
Incentive Policy for Industrial Districts - The West Des Moines City Council may decide to use this tax rebate incentive on projects providing new taxable building valuation within allowed zoning districts.
Valley Junction Technical Assistance Grant - Provides up to $500 as a reimbursable grant for the services of a licensed design professional such as an architect, engineer, planner, structural engineer, landscape architect, or surveyor who assists the applicant in the preparation of plans or documents necessary for City approval of new construction or renovation work within the Valley Junction Historic Business District (generally Railroad to Vine; 4th to 6th).
Main Street Loan Program - Provides funds of up to $250,000 for the rehabilitation of upper floor housing or commercial properties or for new construction on infill lots in historic commercial districts and downtowns of communities that are participants in the Main Street Iowa program.
Venture Network of Iowa (VNI) - Present your business plan to venture capitalists looking to invest in Iowa businesses.
SBIR/STTR - Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer programs encourage entrepreneurs to explore their technological potential and profit from its commercialization.
Targeted Small Business Assistance (TSB) - Small loans and loan guarantees for targeted businesses.
Entrepreneurs With Disabilities (EWD) - Provides technical and financial assistance to qualified entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Dallas County Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) - This fund provides financial assistance to businesses that plan to make a capital investment to create new job opportunities and/or retain existing jobs in Dallas County. The assistance is provided in the form of low-interest loans with a maximum award of $50,000 possible. The fund assistance is provided to encourage new business startups, expansion or retention of existing businesses, or recruitment of out-of-state businesses. The award amount is based on job creation, quality of employment and the businesses benefit to the local community and county.
Grow Iowa Values Financial Assistance Program - Serves as the funding source for projects that are focused on job creation or retention, value-added agriculture and entrepreneurial efforts.
Demonstration Fund - Provides financial awards up to $150,000 to encourage commercialization activities by small and medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and information technology industries.
High Quality Jobs Program - Provides qualifying businesses tax credits to off-set the cost incurred to locate, expand, or modernize an Iowa facility.
Employee Training Programs - Helps Iowa companies maintain their competitive edge and develop a workforce and training program to meet the specific needs of business. There are numerous employee training programs offered, including the Iowa Apprenticeship Program, Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training, Community College Consortium, Iowa Jobs Training Program, and Accelerated Career Education.
Iowa Student Internship Program - The Iowa Student Internship Program links college students from Iowa schools to internship opportunities in small and medium sized firms in the biosciences, advanced manufacturing and information technology industries with the goal of transitioning the interns to full-time employment in the state upon graduation.Contact the West Des Moines Business Incubator and Mid-Iowa Small Business Development Center for entrepreneurial assistance.