Economic Development


Small businesses are at the heart of local communities. During the current situation of extended economic uncertainty due to COVID-19, there are numerous state and federal resources available to help businesses.

“We value the role our local businesses play in supporting our communities. Like cooperatives, business owners and their employees are our neighbors – we are in this together, and we want to provide the resources to help guide us through this challenging time,” said Brenda Hackman, ACEC’s manager of economic development and community relations. “Be sure to contact your local lenders to go over the best plan for your business. Given the high-level of need, applications for state and federal funding should be submitted as soon as possible. Funding is changing at a fast pace and can open and close and then reopen, so keep checking and rechecking resources.”

The USDA has published a COVID-19 Federal Resource Guide, which is a first-of-its-kind resource for businesses looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic. An additional quick link to COVID-19 resources is available here.

There are also additional support resources available from Iowa Economic Development.

A joint partnership has been established between Northeast Iowa Community College, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the Small Business Development Center, and the East Central Iowa Intergovernmental Association to help business owners, nonprofits and self-proprietors navigate the application process for federal, state, and local funding during the COVID-19 emergency. Business owners may call 563-588-3350 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email

To increase communication to businesses, please email me or call me with your contact information so I can email you additional resources, as they arise.

January 2021
New Guidelines for the SBA Payment Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program ( provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus crisis. Borrowers may also be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

Farmers who run their operations as sole proprietors, independent contractors, or otherwise self-employed individuals will have newly expanded access that began January 1, 2021, to the Paycheck Protection Program under changes made in the COVID-19 stimulus package Congress approved in December 2020. This latest PPP round provides $284 billion in funding through March 31, 2021, and allows certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. Producers who were denied PPP loans or whose loan amounts did not consider self-employment compensation may now be eligible for the vital federal small business support. PPP eligibility information is available here.

Paycheck Protection Program (

PPP Loan Forgiveness (
SBA also offers additional Coronavirus relief.

Please contact your local lender if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Brenda Hackman
Manager, Economic Development and Community Relations


We partner with Iowa Area Development Group to enhance our commitment to business and community development.  We also continue to offer economic development financing through our revolving loan fund.  About our RLF.

Contact us for more information about:

  • USDA Rural Development Loan Programs
  • Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative Economic Development Loan Program

Projects we've assisted with

Trinity Fabricators honored with Iowa Venture Award - December 2018.

Funding for energy projects:
There may be funding available for renewable energy or energy efficiency projects through USDA Rural Development.

There is also an opportunity for dairy producers to purchase more energy-efficient equipment through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). For more information contact your local NRCS office or talk with Ryan Wagner at (888)788-1551. Along with directing you to the appropriate USDA representatives, Ryan can assist you by completing the required energy efficiency audit on your proposed project.

Learn more about Rural Development programs by visiting the agency's website here.