This Week in the Corridor
Playing our role in a trying time
Every great story is, at its heart, about a quest, a journey from point A to point B. Often the route is visible: Huck and Jim had the river, The Road has, well, the road. Other quests are internal, characters learning about themselves as they navigate conflict. The final page comes only after the destination is reached.

Our nation is now writing a new novel plotted on the coronavirus. The word novel is a pun, yes, but it’s also accurate; this is an epic tale, meaning we must adopt a perspective foreign to our hyper-stimulated time. We must take the long view.

The prevailing mindset seems to incline toward the opposite. We wait in tense anticipation of specific and finite signals that the pandemic is over, whether it’s an announcement from the governor that businesses can reopen or a more intimate milestone such as a first pizza night with the family.

Reality will be different. The end will be messy, stuttering and uncertain. One academic paper I scanned said social distancing could be needed through 2022 to keep COVID-19 in check. While political and economic conditions likely makes that untenable, we should expect alterations to our daily lives.

The point is that our novel does not end when the economy begins again. The quest goes on. Our task as individuals is to be strong enough, patient enough and patriotic enough to play our continuing roles.

As just one of many potential examples, we will all share in the responsibility to help restore consumer confidence once the state or federal government gives the go-ahead to start buying and selling again. We must convey a truthful and cohesive message that the Iowa Lakes region is a safe place for business and for families to rest, recreate and perhaps even relocate.

We do this by following the rules. If new guidelines limit the number of customers in each establishment, then our job is to wait respectfully at the door. If facemasks make others feel safe, let’s litter Instagram with pictures of northwest Iowans decked out like extras in a Spaghetti western. Right now, conformity is cool.

The storyline of COVID-19 remains opaque. There are many chapters left to write. Unlike characters spilling from an author’s pen, we each have agency, we have influence. It is our actions and our attitudes that will determine whether a quest begun in tragedy can arrive at someplace like triumph. 
Board Nominations
The following individuals have been nominated for the Corridor Board of Directors:

  • Buena Vista County
  • At-large – Jeaneth Ibarra, Tyson Foods, three-year term ending June 30, 2023
  • Clay County
  • At-large – Doug Benjamin, Northwest Bank, three-year term ending June 30, 2023
  • Dickinson County
  • At-large – Michael McKim, Safco, three-year term ending June 30, 2023
  • Emmet County
  • At-large – Edwin Waleh, Heartland Cybersecurity, three-year term ending June 30, 2023

Additional names of candidates for directors can be nominated by petition bearing the genuine signature of at least 20 qualified members of the Corridor. Petitions must be filed via email by April 26, 2020
Featured Real Estate
Site: 4th Avenue West

Location: 4th Avenue West
Spencer, IA 51301
11 acres

Sale Price: $390,000
(in three parcels)

For more information visit the Corridor website!
This Week in the Corridor
Corridor urging business owners to start planning ahead for what things may look like coming out of pandemic

Corridor President and CEO Kiley Miller talked about looking forward and planning for what the economic and business environments will look like coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out his interview with KUOO.
ITC Midwest, IRDC launch Power of Connection Community Grant Program

The Power of Connection Community Grant Program is to facilitate economic development in rural communities across the state. A rural community seeking Power of Connection support will be assigned with an Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC) SWOT team to consider issues and opportunities identified in the community.

Learn more about the Power of Connection Community Grant Program.
New Iowa Small Business Relief Fund

Iowa organizations joined ranks to uplift the small business community across the state. The alliance includes The Director's Council, Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, LULAC Iowa, Once Voice, Iowa State Extension, DREAM Iowa, Iowa Community Capital, EMBARC Iowa, Des Moines Brance of the NAACP, Latino Resources of Iowa and DMACC Financial Empowerment Center.

Learn more about the Relief Fund.
Area businessman Don Van Oort becomes active in the fight against COVID-19

Van Oort, owner of technology business RDI in Milford, was early to realize that the novel coronavirus posed a new kind of threat to the globe, warning staff of the Corridor that an economic shutdown may be required nearly a month before the action was taken. Soon Van Oort was immersing himself in the science of SARS-CoV-2. His research has led RDI to announce a patent-pending treatment option that uses a nebulized alkaline to make a patient's airway less hospitable to the virus. The company named the treatment pHbarrier. RDI has invited hospitals worldwide to license pHbarrier at no charge for the next year. The company is seeking virologists, microbiologists, chemists and other professionals to help with the research.

Learn more about pHbarrier.
Companies receive small business relief

Through the state's small business relief program, small businesses throughout the Corridor region and the state have received a total of $24 million in grants. The program is funded by the Economic Emergency Fund and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Read more to see some regional businesses awarded funds.
Meet the Board
Thank you to these individuals committed to eonomic development in our region by being a part of the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Kent Stensland
Bank Midwest, Dickinson County
"The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is a unique development organization. The group had the foresight many years ago to set up the Corridor that would service four different counties in the area. There are very few management teams that could handle a setup like this. I have been impressed with the management of this organization and how they can service the four counties in all of the different areas of development needed today. I have been lucky enough to be involved in other development groups in the state of Iowa, the Iowa Lakes Corridor is second to none. Kiley and his team are fully invested in the communities we serve and want the area to thrive and grow."
Dr. Joshua Merchant
Buena Vista University, Buena Vista County
"When I joined the board, I was pleasantly surprised by the entrepreneurial spirit of the Corridor Board and our members to be an economic leader within the State of Iowa. I am concerned by the declining population in NW Iowa - particularly the decreasing number of young people who want to stay, work and start families. I believe the Corridor has a tremendous opportunity to attract, and retain, young talent to the region. Our vibrancy - economically and socially - gives us a unique opportunity to not only grow, but be a destination for employers and the talent that will follow."
Investor Spotlight
Each week we want to feature and thank the businesses and individuals that have committed to economic development and growth in our communities. To learn more about these investors and others, visit our  Business Directory!
City of Storm Lake
Sector: Cities & Counties
Description: There's something special about Storm Lake...something that's just not seen everywhere else. It's a small city with big sophistication. It's friendly people, an inviting community, a center for business and a favorite for travelers. It's a year-round destination with a fascinating history and a promising future.
Clary Family of Businesses
Sector: Business Services/Other
Location: Milford
Description: The Clary Family of Businesses was created in 1981 with the first entity being Clary Lake Service and then Milford Welding & Manufacturing was born in 1990. Since the beginning, the Clary Family of Businesses has pursued a dream to fill needs, provide solutions, and compete strongly in the lake services and hoist marketplace.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Job Title
Plant Maintenance
Technician (2nd Shift)
Central Bi-Products
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or call us at 712.264.3474.