PDI Blog

PDI's Blog will include legislative news, economic development news headlines, messages from our PDI President and other topics contributed by our membership. Choose from the list of contributors and categories, listed to the right,  to find the type of articles you are interested in.

Comments Welcome at Upcoming Broadband Committe Meetings

The STEM Advisory Council Broadband Committee is soliciting input from stakeholders all across Iowa who can offer insights into the unique broadband challenges facing the state, as well as provide thoughts on possible solutions. ...

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Written by Amy Kuhlers
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And We Call it PDI Because...a long look back

In 1973 the incorporation of the Iowa Professional Developers (IPD) was a formalization of what had previously been a quasi-professional/social group of what were known then as industrial developers. Its membership was comprised of primarily employees of the state development commission, utility and railroad companies (there were many more of those organizations at that time) and some full time community developers....

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Written by PDI
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Presidential Post - September 15, 2013

I'm going to keep this brief, because you don't have time to read some longwinded newsletter article- you're getting your affairs in order to be out of the office for a couple of days to attend PDI conference September 25—27. Right? By now you've heard about the fantastic programming for work and play...

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Written by Brent Willett
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Iowa SBDC Partners with Ex-Im Bank Multiplies Access to Export Financing for Small Businesses

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Small Business Development Center (Iowa SBDC) today announced a new partnership that will help Iowa small- and medium-sized businesses boost export sales and jobs. Iowa SBDC’s partnership with Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank)’s City/State Partnership is the first of its kind in the state of Iowa. It will give exporters enhanced access to information about Ex-Im Bank’s resources to exporters in all 99 Iowa counties.

The partnership is expected to accelerate export business and job growth by promoting Bank products and services within the Iowa SBDC’s statewide network of 15 regional centers and an International Trade Center (ITC), where entrepreneurs meet export finance counselors and learn how to grow their foreign sales. The Iowa SBDC network is sponsored by Iowa State University’s College of Business, Ames, in cooperation with 13 other regional colleges and universities. It is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Ex-Im Bank has a lot to offer Iowa businesses that want to reach customers overseas and grow their export sales, and this partnership will put Ex-Im’s financing benefits within easy reach,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Owners of small and medium-size businesses already use Iowa SBDC’s International Trade Center; now they will find Ex-Im Bank resources in the same place. This new connection will support increased sales and job growth in Iowa.”

Ex-Im Bank’s City/State Partnership with international trade educators and business experts in Iowa aims to build upon existing successes there. The SBDC’s International Trade Center provides expertise about how export businesses start, grow, and gain profits. By means of inexpensive workshops, free one-on-one counseling and online courses, it equips small businesses with marketing savvy otherwise accessible only to large companies.

“The Iowa SBDC’s International Trade Center is committed to helping Iowa’s small- and medium-sized businesses gain access to capital for expanding to markets outside the U.S.,” said Debbie Franklin, ITC director. “This partnership with Ex-Im Bank will help provide these businesses the additional support needed to export globally.”

The purpose of Ex-Im Bank’s City/State Partners program is to ensure that the Bank’s export finance programs are more accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses through local, state, and regional economic development and business support organizations. Ex-Im Bank provides its Partners with free marketing and training materials, qualified finance experts to speak at Partners’ events, assistance with outreach and counseling, and access to a network of lenders, insurance brokers, and U.S. Government export resources.

Through its City/State Partnership with the Iowa Small Business Development Center, Ex-Im Bank offers to Iowa enterprises expanded access to products such as its Global Credit Express, which helps exporters acquire low-cost working capital up to $500,000, as well as Express Insurance, which simplifies small business access to export credit risk insurance on their foreign accounts receivable.

To contact Iowa SBDC’s International Trade Center, call director Debbie Franklin at (515) 509-5745, email her at DebbieF@iastate.edu, or visit the International Trade Center web page at www.iowasbdc.org/exports.aspx.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.


The Iowa Small Business Development Center is an outreach program of Iowa State University's College of Business. Partially funded by the U. S. Small Business Administration, the organization has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state and one international trade center located centrally. Since program inception in 1981, the Center has helped hundreds of thousands of Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through free, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training.

For more information on Iowa Small Business Development Center programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org

Written by PDI
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Sioux City Receives EDA Award to Further Rail Improvements

The City of Sioux City has been awarded a $551,459 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist with rail improvements in Southbridge Business Park. The grant will be used for the construction of an industrial lead track and “drop & pull” yard”.

"We are grateful for the support of our Congressional delegation for this important project,” said Mayor Bob Scott. “These funds will greatly assist our efforts to attract new development and new jobs to Sioux City."

The EDA award is supplementing two grants previously received, including $2 million from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and $3 million from the Iowa Rail Port Program for the project. Total cost is estimated at approximately $6.7 million. The City is working with the Union Pacific RR on the development of the new rail yard to provide enhanced rail service to industries that will locate in Southbridge. Preliminary design has been completed.

Sioux City has previously received substantial grant funding for the Southbridge Business Park, including a $4.8 million Revitalizing Iowa’s Sound Economy (RISE) grant, and two grants for the water treatment plant being built in Southbridge, ($8 million in state I-JOBS funds and $24 million in state revolving loan funds). Funds from the Air National Guard have also assisted with the relocation of Harbor Drive.

Sabre Industries, a leading provider of communication and electric transmission infrastructure products, held a ribbon cutting earlier this year at their 150-acre site in Southbridge. The long-time Sioux City manufacturing company is the first to expand in Southbridge growing their highly skilled workforce to 532 employees with an initial $28 million investment.


Written by PDI
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