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 links 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.

August 25, 2020

Iowa Economic Development Authority Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program Update as of August 25

Attn: Northeast Iowa Businesses: There has been a change in the assistance requirements for the Utility Assistance Disruption Prevention from the Cares Act. Non-Profit businesses are eligible as well. Average monthly electric usage must be less than 25,000 kWh, and monthly average natural gas usage must be less than 2,500 therms. We encourage businesses to fill out the pre-application to check for eligibility.  You do not have to have an outstanding utility bill, but you must have experienced a COVID-19 loss of income on or after March 17, 2020. You may be eligible to receive a minimum of $400 up to $7,500; there is $14.5 million available. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first ready to proceed basis, until all funds have been exhausted, or October 31, 2020, whichever comes first.

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.