Main Street Resources
The following programs and resources are available through your local Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street program.
For more information contact:
CVNB Main Street
CVNB Main Street Revolving Loan Fund
The Revolving Loan Fund is a loan pool established by the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District and administered by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) to assist new and existing businesses within the Main Street District in development and expansion efforts. Funds may be used in conjunction with local lenders to serve as gap financing. As loans are repaid into the pool, the fund revolves back out to other candidates for the program.
It is the intent of the CVNB Main Street RLF to provide an alternative funding option that will infuse the district with new jobs, businesses, and density to ensure the long-term revitalization of this important historic district in the heart of Cedar Rapids.
► Loan Range: $5,000-$25,000
► Average Loan Awarded Per Job Created: $5,000
► Maximum Loan Term: 10 years
► Competitive Interest Rates
► 2% Administrative Fee
► RLF Funds May Be Used For: working capital, purchase of machinery & equipment, purchase of real property, and/or tenant improvements
► Step 1: Complete an application and return it to ECICOG. CVNB Main Street Economic Restructuring Committee evaluates application for completeness.
► Step 2: Application is forwarded to the loan review committee. Applications received before the last business day of the month will be placed on the next month’s agenda.
► Step 3: The loan review committee evaluates the application and will approve/decline funding.
► Step 4: Approved applications begin the loan closing process. This includes preparation of the loan closing documents and scheduling of a loan closing date.
Funds made possible through the following grants and donors: Guaranty Bank, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Farmers State Bank, Bankers Trust, Main Street Iowa Business Innovation Challenge Grant, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Program Grant
Building Improvement Grant
Application deadline May 5, 2016
The CV/NB Main Street Board of Directors, and/or Design Committee will award grants to eligible applicants for eligible activities which are outlined below. Applicants must submit an application of the intended project for a formal review. The board of directors or design committee will act on grant applications at their next scheduled meeting.
Grants will be awarded based on the following criteria:
- Applicants demonstration of strong dedication to district improvement
- Eligibility of the project and applicant
- Affect of the proposed improvement(s) on the district
- Alignment of the project with Main Street’s four point approach
- Grantee abiding by all terms and conditions of the grant
Grants will be offered up to $1,000 and require 1:1 matching funds from the Grantee.
Who is Eligible
Property owner or property owner-sponsored tenants of existing commercial buildings located within the defined CV/NB Main Street District boundary.
Items include but are not limited to the following:
- Repairs to building facades
- Masonry repair
- Cleaning of the exterior of the building
- Exterior painting
- Repairing or replacing entrances, doors, windows, decorative details
- Sign removal, repair and replacement that meets the requirements of the City of Cedar Rapids sign ordinance and Overlay District guidelines.
- Permanent landscaping, benches and sidewalk repairs
- Interior improvements that are permanent in nature
- Other repairs that improve the aesthetic quality of the property
Grant project must be completed within one year of the grantees notification of award or up to 18 months with prior approval from CV/NB Main Street Design Committee. Extensions may be granted if the project is more than 75% complete at the end of the grant’s term. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis. Example: documentation for at least $2,000 of expenses must be provided to receive a $1,000 grant disbursement.
Grants will be awarded May 19. The CV/NB Main Street Board and/or Design Committee will not use race, sex, orientation, age, religion or other factors as a basis for awarding or refusing to award a grant to an eligible applicant.
Applications must be submitted via e-mail: email@example.com or in-person/postal service to 101 16th Ave SW, Suite A, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 on or before May 5, 2017
Learn more about our existing business mix, customer demographics, and housing trends. This information can be helpful when planning a new business or developing a marketing campaign.
Contact Jennifer Pruden for more information or assistance with interpreting the data: 319-432-9785 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Czech Bohemia Overlay (“CB-O”) District has been created through an ordinance by City Council. Council finds that the CB-O District contains unique architecture that illustrates the history of urban development in the core of Cedar Rapids. The purposes of the CB-O District are to ensure that the future development and reconstruction of commercial and multi-family buildings is compatible with the unique character of the CB-O District and to preserve its economic viability. The full ordinance and design guidelines are available here.
As a 501(c)3, Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District may act as fiscal agent for organizations or community projects that are compatible with our mission, vision, and values. For more information on our guidelines for fiscal sponsorship click here: Fiscal Agent Guidelines
Main Street Iowa Design & Business Assistance
Design & Business assistance is provided to downtown property owners and tenants as a free service through the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program. The Design Specialists will provide design recommendations and develop conceptual renderings for each proposed project. The Business Specialist will provide economic development assistance as well as one-on-one business consultations.
Please contact Jennifer Pruden, Executive Director CV/NB Main Street District: email@example.com
Have questions for Main Street? Sign up for a one-on-one consultation with Main Street Director, Jennifer Pruden. She can share her knowledge and experience gained from workshops and training to help your district business grow. Each consultation will last four hours and one or two consultations will be scheduled each month. First come, first serve basis.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Open 4 Business
The OPEN 4 BUSINESS competition is a chance for you to grow your business idea in the Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street district. Think Shark Tank – Main Street style! Applications have closed.
We are happy to announce our 2017 winners:
1st place: Red Ball Printing Company
2nd place: Rawlicious
To see the pitches from the April 2017 event, click here.
Historic Preservation Resources
Looking to rehabilitate a historic property in the Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street District? That’s great! Take a look at these programs that may help with your project.
Certified Local Government (CLG) Grants
CLG Grant Funds can be used to develop building reuse plans and plans and specifications for buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They can also be used to survey and evaluate properties and prepare National Register nominations.
Historic Resource Development Program (HRDP)
The purpose of the HRDP Grants Program is to provide funds to preserve, conserve, interpret, enhance, and educate the public about the historical resources of Iowa. Grants are for historic preservation, museums and documentary collections.
Historic Site Preservation Grant (HSPG)
The Historic Site Preservation Grant provides funds to acquire, repair, rehabilitate, and develop historic sites that preserve, interpret, or promote Iowa’s cultural heritage. The grants are large ($40K minimum and $100K maximum) and they require dollar for dollar match. Eligibility is limited to a non-profit or government entity.
Historic Tax Credits
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the State Historical Society of Iowa administers the State Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program, and participates in the certification process for the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives and county Historic Property Tax Exemption programs. The entire rehabilitation project must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards when utilizing historic tax credits.
Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program
20% or 10% of qualified rehabilitation costs
Description: 20% of qualified rehabilitation costs are available as a credit against federal income taxes on income-producing historic properties. Rehabilitation work on historic properties must be “substantial” (an IRS test) and meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. Applications and photos must be reviewed by the SHPO and be approved by the National Park Service.
Eligibility Requirements: Properties must be listed on the National Register or be evaluated as National Register eligible and then listed within 30 months after claiming the credit on IRS tax forms. (A 10% tax credit is also available for non-historic, non-residential, income-producing properties built before 1936. These properties can neither be listed on the National Register nor be a contributing resource in a National Register-listed historic district.) Additional information
Statewide Historic Projects
Description: 25% of qualified rehabilitation costs are available as a credit against the owner(s) state income taxes. Properties do not need to be income-producing. The SHPO cannot reserve credits for more than three years into the future. For a residential property or barn constructed before 1937, the cost of a qualified rehabilitation project must exceed either $25,000 or 25% of the assessed value (less the land value) – whichever is less. For commercial properties, the rehabilitation project must exceed 50% of the assessed value of the property (less the land value) before rehabilitation. If there is no assessed value the insured value can be used. Rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
Eligibility Requirements: Properties must be listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or barns constructed before 1937 or barns that are eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional information
Temporary Historic Property Tax Exemption
4-year “freeze” on property tax increases, then 25% increase per year to adjusted value after rehabilitation.
Description: Local property tax incentive for the sensitive, “substantial rehabilitation” of historic buildings. Property taxes remain the same for four years followed by increases of 25% per year for the following four years. Two applications are required – one from SHPO and one from the county assessor.
Eligibility Requirements: Properties must be listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register, contributing to National Register or local historic districts, or designated by a county or municipal landmark ordinance.
The property must also be eligible based on the specific county’s priority list for that tax year. The County Board of Supervisors will establish priorities for which an exemption may be granted and will annually designate real property in the county for a historic property tax exemption. A public meeting must be held, with notice given, at which the proposed priority list will be presented. Additional information
ADA Federal Tax Credit
This federal tax credit was created to help small businesses cover ADA-related eligible access expenditures. A business that for the previous tax year had either revenues of $1,000,000 or less or 30 or fewer full-time workers may take advantage of this credit. This federal tax credit can cover 50% of the eligible access expenditures in a year up to $10,250 (maximum credit of $5000). In addition the tax deduction is available to all businesses with a maximum deduction of $15,000 per year for the other costs the credit doesn’t cover. The tax deduction can be claimed for expenses incurred in barrier removal and alterations.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. The National Trust’s grant programs have assisted thousands of innovative preservation projects that protect the continuity, diversity, and beauty of our communities. There are several grant programs available for use in Iowa. Eligible applicants are non-profit (501(c) (3) organizations and public agencies. Please contact the National Trust for grant details at email@example.com or 202-588-6277. Please note that these funds are for planning grants — the costs associated with actual restoration of a structure would not be fundable. However, if your organization needs to hire a consultant, prepare a preservation plan, or investigate reuse possibilities for a historic structure, these types of planning activities could be fundable.
Many resources are available through the City of Cedar Rapids and other local organizations. Depending on your development project, the following programs may be available.
Standard City Incentives
Core District Reinvestment
High Quality Jobs
Large Site Master Plan
Quality design that enhances the area
Experienced development team
Neighborhood and community support
Industrial Property Tax Exemption
Provides for an exemption from property taxation for a portion of the value added through new construction or renovation. Chapter 15 of the Municipal Code allows exemption without specific approval by the City Council, if applicant is eligible under definitions of manufacturer or processor, warehouse/distribution when distribution is to retail outlet, and research-service operations.
Urban Revitalization Tax Exemption
Provides an exemption from property tax for all or a portion of the value of new development or renovations on specific properties approved by the City Council.
Urban Renewal Tax Increment
Commonly referred to as TIF for Tax Increment Financing. In order to establish this funding program a specific area is designated as an Urban Renewal Area and property taxes generated by new development or renovations within the area may be used to provide economic development incentives.
Cedar Rapids has been directly involved in providing economic development incentives since December 1980 with the creation of a 5-year partial property tax exemption known as the industrial property tax exemption. Over the last 10-years the City has taken on an increasingly aggressive role in economic development incentives by creating Urban Renewal Areas. These Urban Renewal Areas provide tax increment funding for economic development incentives and public improvements related to those projects. During that time the City has invested over $31 million in economic development incentives facilitating:
- $162 million in private investment in new facilities, equipment, and technology;
- Retention/creation of over 6,300 jobs with an annual payroll of over $160 million; and
- Funding over $30 million in public improvements including streets, utility extensions, and recreation facilities
- The State provides financial assistance for qualified businesses through several economic incentive programs. These programs are administered through the Iowa Department of Economic Development and approved at the discretion of the Iowa Department of Economic Development Board.
Cedar Rapids Revolving Loan Fund
The Cedar Rapids Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) helps encourage expansion and growth in the core of Cedar Rapids by providing competitive loans to qualifying businesses.
Funds are available at competitive rates to help position businesses for future growth. The continued success and support of the core is an important component to strengthening Cedar Rapids’ economic engine.
Eligibility is based on the following:
- Cedar Rapids businesses that currently reside, or are willing to relocate to, the flood inundation area (including parts of the Downtown District, NewBo, Czech Village, and Kingston Village areas)
- Businesses that received disaster recovery funds following the 2008 floods, residing anywhere in Cedar Rapids
- Maximum loan award: $50,000
- Interest rate of 4%
- Term no longer than 10 years
Funding is facilitated through the East Central Iowa Council of Governments.
For an application, please visit: www.ecicog.org/crrlf.
Please contact Robyn Jacobson, contract administrator with East Central Iowa Council of Governments.
Phone number: 319-365-9941 ext. 134
Take advantage of the many options available through the state of Iowa to assist your business, organization, or development project.
Small Business Linked Investments for Tomorrow (LIFT) Program
The Small Business Linked Investments Program will inject capitol into small businesses owned and operated by Iowa residents. One-half of the moneys invested will be available for qualifying small businesses which are 51 percent or more owned, operated, and actively managed by one or more women, minority persons, or persons with disabilities.
Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credit Program
State and federal incentive programs exist that can make the purchase and redevelopment of a Brownfield site a good economic opportunity for many businesses. These incentive programs exist because Brownfield redevelopment can promote general economic health by reducing environmental hazards, cleaning up neighborhood eyesores, creating jobs, boosting tax revenue, and so on.
Brownfield sites are abandoned, idled or underutilized industrial or commercial properties where real or perceived environmental contamination prevents productive expansion or redevelopment. Examples of Brownfield sites include former gas stations, dry cleaners, and other commercial operations that may have utilized products or materials potentially hazardous to the environment
Grayfield sites are industrial or commercial properties that are vacant, blighted, obsolete, or otherwise underutilized. A grayfield has been developed and has infrastructure in place but the property’s current use is outdated or prevents a better or more efficient use of the property. Iowa law defines a grayfield as having improvements and infrastructure that are at least 25 years old and one or more of the following conditions exists:
- Thirty percent or more of a building located on the property that is available for occupancy has been vacant or unoccupied for a period of twelve months or more.
- The assessed value of the improvements on the property has decreased by 25% or more.
- The property is currently being used as a parking lot.
- The improvements on the property no longer exist.
Iowa Community Cultural Grants (ICCG) Job Creation Grant
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is committed to encouraging cultural growth and development throughout the state. Job Creation Grants provide funds to support the creation of quality jobs for Iowans that contribute to the cultural vitality of Iowa. Funding for Job Creation Grants is made possible through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Community Cultural Grant program. Awards range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. Job Creation Grants support salaries, wages and job benefits for current Iowa residents. Employment must be tied to a cultural project (see glossary for definition) and must be a new, permanent full or part-time position or a new contract position. New, permanent full or part-time positions must be paid at least $14.50/hour.
Small Operating Support Grants
Healthy arts, history, and cultural organizations enhance quality of life in Iowa communities. With SOS Grants, the Department of Cultural Affairs wants to help small and mid-sized arts, history, and cultural organizations: Take steps toward improved professionalism and standards of operation; to temporarily cover some operational costs to free up other funds for programming or purchases; become more effective at achieving goals that will directly affect their community. Applicants may apply for up to $2,500.
Cultural and Entertainment Districts
The benefits available to certified districts could include historic tax credits for rehabilitation of historic structures or other incentives which create live/work space for cultural workers, space for cultural and entertainment enterprises and access financial assistance programs from state agencies and other funding partners.
Paint Iowa Beautiful
Keeping up the appearance of our buildings and facilities is an important component of viable communities. Well-maintained and painted buildings reflect pride in our communities. Through a partnership with Diamond Vogel Paint of Orange City, Iowa groups can receive paint for community enhancement projects. More than 5,000 gallons of paint have been donated to community groups through the Paint Iowa Beautiful program.
IowaMicroLoan has created a fund to provide a source of capital for microentrepreneurs who are seeking a direct loan of $5,000 to $50,000 or a co-financing arrangement of up to $150,000. Applicants must have applied for a loan at a traditional credit source and have been denied to be eligible to apply for IowaMicroLoan.
Small Business Credit Initiative
The Iowa Small Business Loan Support Program (ISBLSP) aids Iowa entrepreneurs and small businesses in their efforts to access capital for business purposes including startup costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, as well as the renovation or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes.
Business Development Resources
There are many great local resources available to help with your business startup and expansion needs. Whether it be creating a business plan, finding startup capital, or consulting with business professionals, the following programs can help you reach success in your endeavors.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Successful entrepreneurs possess vision, determination and a relentless desire to obtain sound advice from outside experts. The Kirkwood SBDC provides free counseling to entrepreneurs who are planning or operating small businesses. Services available include:
- One-on-one, confidential counseling by qualified professionals;
- A variety of learning opportunities, including workshops, classes, online assistance, publications and other resources;
- Connections to other service providers, federal, state and local resources, sources of capital, and similar small-business assistance.
Between 2007 and 2013, the Iowa Small Business Development Centers have
- Counseled 15,172 clients in 78,690 hours.
- Trained 24,225 people in 1,782 workshops.
For valuable information about the Iowa Small Business Development Centers and their business assistance programs, go to http://www.iowasbdc.org/.
Scott Swenson | Regional Director
Kirkwood Small Business Development Center
3375 Armar Drive
Marion, IA 52302
P 319 377-8256
F 319 398-5698
SCORE East Central Iowa
SCORE is America’s economic development engine, established by the Federal Government in 1964. Its focus: Create, grow, save and assist small business at no cost. We are the nation’s premiere small business mentors, coaches and counselors. SCORE East Central Iowa is the local contingent. We help small businesses succeed in Benton, Cedar, Jones and Linn Counties here in Iowa.
We are located in an easy to find, 4-story office building, right across 1st Avenue from the Walgreen’s Drug Store at 29th Street.
2750 1st Avenue NE SUITE 350
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
(319) 362-6405 EXT 2005
(319) 362-7861 Facsimile (FAX)
Note: We are conveniently co-located with the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office.
We offer great business consulting using proven professionals, no-charge & w/o strings. For every $1 America invests in SCORE, we return $107.
East Central Iowa Council of Governments Revolving Loan Fund
In response to the Natural Disasters of 2008, along with the current credit crisis, the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) is accepting applications for the Business Assistance Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). The RLF is initially offered as a partnership between ECICOG, a generous grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation, and the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The EDA, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has granted $1.5 million dollars to the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) to establish the fund. To assist in meeting EDA matching requirements, ECICOG received a generous grant of $85,000 from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation.
RLF funds are available to all qualifying for-profit businesses in the six-county ECICOG region and will offer below market interest rates and fixed terms. Initially, a significant portion of assistance provided through the RLF will be for the benefit of businesses and business sectors adversely impacted by the Natural Disasters of 2008. As the region’s redevelopment progresses, the RLF will have the opportunity to assist in promoting various economic sectors.
The RLF will make loans to businesses at a rate no less than 4%.
Other terms may vary, depending on the purpose of the loan, which may include working capital, purchase of machinery and equipment, and/or purchase of real property. Initially, a significant portion of the assistance provided may be for the benefit of businesses and business sectors adversely impacted by the natural disasters. However, as the region’s redevelopment progresses, the RLF will have the opportunity to support business development and start-up throughout the region.
ECICOG is a public agency that provides planning and technical assistance to city and county governments in Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington Counties. ECICOG provides services in housing, solid waste, transportation, and community development. For additional information regarding the RLF or to complete an application, contact Tracy DeKoter at (319) 365-9941 ext. 130 or visit http://www.ecicog.org/ed/
Small Business Administration (SBA)
504 Program (http://www.sba.gov/content/cdc504-loan-program)
The SBA 504 loan program is a long-term financing tool for economic development within a community. The 504 Program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings.
The 7(a) Loan Program includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. For example, funds are available for loans to businesses that handle exports to foreign countries, businesses that operate in rural areas, and for other very specific purposes.
The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount is $50,000, but the average microloan is about $13,000.
Patriot Express (http://www.sba.gov/content/express-programs)
The Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative allows lenders with Patriot Express authority to make offers similar to lenders with SBAExpress authority, but the business owner is more limited. To be eligible to receive a Patriot Express Loan, the business must be owned and controlled (51 percent or more) by eligible veterans and members of the military community who want to establish or expand a small business.
SBA offers several special purpose 7(a) loans to aid businesses that have been impacted by NAFTA, to provide financial assistance to Employee Stock Ownership Plans, and to help implement pollution control mechanisms.
Advantage Loan Initiatives (http://www.sba.gov/advantage)
Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage 7(a) Loan Initiatives SBA is committed to expanding access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities so that we can drive economic growth and job creation.