This Week in the Corridor
USDA makes spec buildings, revolving loan funds to rural communities
In our look at the partners that make economic development successful in the Corridor, we next turn to the US Department of Agriculture, specifically USDA Rural Development. That’s right, the federal government.

The USDA web site describes rural development as a “mission area.” That somewhat uncertain description is made more specific with this passage: “ We offer loans, grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services such as housing; health care; first responder services and equipment; and water, electric and communications infrastructure.”

An essential piece of the USDA’s broad portfolio is the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program. Through REDL&G (typically pronounced “red-lag”), the USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which, in turn, pass the money to businesses to support job creation projects in rural areas. Loans can be for as much as $2 million. The businesses must pay the money back, but friendly rates and terms help bend the profitability curve upward.

REDL&G also seeds revolving loan funds operated by rural utilities. Once again, the primary aim is job creation.

Finally, a common use of REDL&G is to fund speculative industrial buildings. Examples in the Corridor are … Well, there are a heck of a lot of them. One recent example is a 30,000 SF spec building in Spirit Lake’s East Lake Industrial Park owned by the Iowa Lakes Corridor Future Fund and available for $799,000.

Add all that up and we’re only through one USDA program. The department also provides business loan guarantees and a plethora of business and community assistance programs. Listing them all here would be tedious, but you can take a look at

We’ll close out with a call to Iowa’s congressional delegation to protect funding for USDA Rural Development, one of the few federal “mission areas” truly built for the benefit of small towns and rural areas.

Hiring interns this summer?
Looking for additional funding support? Check out the
The Corridor is also compiling a list of internships available throughout the summer to publish and assist those looking to improve their skills and gain workplace experience. If you have internships you're looking to fill, please send an email to Alyssa Petersen at!
Featured Real Estate
Site: Spirit Lake Commercial Development Opportunity

Location: 1301 & 1303 18th St.
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
2.8 acres

Sale Price: TBD

For more information visit the Corridor website!
This Week in the Corridor
Leadership Spencer 2020 registration open
The Spencer Chamber is hosting another year of Leadership Spencer, a program to give community members a better background of Spencer and a closer look at the opportunities available for involvement and leadership. The class visits a variety of local businesses to get more insight into the various organizations in Spencer.

Learn more about the class and how to register!
U of O Winter Games marks 40 years of fun
40 years ago, a Lakes Area event began with the goal of promoting commerce and fun even in the "off-season" at the lakes. The University of Okoboji Winter Games has grown over the last 40 years from a two-day event with a few activities and competitions to a four-day weekend with a variety of fundraisers, winter activities, tournaments, live entertainment and more.

Read more about the history of the Winter Games.
BVU interns launch medical career exploration
The Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education and Development (URMED) program is a three-week immersion for select Buena Vista University students into rural medicine in and around Storm Lake. URMED is in its 12th year and has helped dozens of BVU students prepare for medical careers.

Learn more about the URMED program.
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!
Avera Holy Family Hospital
Sector: Healthcare
Location: Estherville
Description: Avera Holy Family Health is an acute care critical access hospital. Avera Medical Group - Estherville is a six-provider clinic. The mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of individuals and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian Values.
Bank Midwest
Sector: Financial & Insurance Services
Location: Spencer
Description: Bank Midwest is a regional financial services provider operating withing 10 community locations in Northwest Iowa and Southwest Minnesota. Their purpose is to be the One Place for customers' financial needs, providing banking, trust, investment and insurance services.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Job Title
Clinic Patient Services
Diagnostic Imaging Tech
(Radiology Tech)
Medical Laboratory Scientist
Patient Access
Police Officer
Surgical Tech
Avera Holy Family Hospital

Avera Holy Family Hospital

Avera Holy Family Hospital
Avera Holy Family Hospital

City of Spencer
Avera Holy Family Hospital



Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at ,
or call us at 712.264.3474.