Iowa Lakes Corridor Dev. Corp. Announces "Micro Grant" Program

Wed 9-16-2020

(Spencer)-- The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is looking into the possibility of some new funding that would assist area small businesses. Spokesman Brian Dalziel says the “micro grants” would be available through the Iowa Economic Development Authority's Shop Iowa program and that they don't have to be paid back. He says they could be used for various purposes, including for those businesses wanting to put product up for sale online...Dalziel & Micro Grants01 

"It does take some time and effort, you know, to figure out okay, what products should I sell online and how should I do it and how should I price it? So we want to have a program that helps make that happen. This program doesn't exist yet. We're doing customer discovery, so as I help my entrepreneurs because we're struggling to figure out how to move their businesses forward, we at the Corridor are doing customer discovery to determine whether offering a micro grant program would be well received by small businesses, if that's something they would find useful and valuable; would they use the program if we introduced it. We've got some resources we're looking at doing this; we're finding out if it's an opportunity worth pursuing for us."

Dalziel says another group of micro grants is available for businesses looking to integrate online appointment scheduling...Dalziel & Micro Grants02 

"Especially among some of our younger population. They don't like making phone calls. They would rather go online and schedule an appointment, whether it's you know, with a barber or to get their hair colored or whether it's to have an electrician come to their home or a plumber or to get their teeth fixed, whatever. People that need services want to be able to schedule those service appointments online, but most service companies don't offer that. And so we're looking at hey, is there an opportunity to help integrate. One of my entrepreneurial clients is looking at developing a program kind of like IEDA's Shop Iowa program for product-based businesses for service-based businesses that would be able to do that much more efficiently and at a much less cost than if they were to build their own scheduling program from scratch."

And he says a third is for training the region's immigrant population...Dalziel & Micro Grants03 

"We're doing that now for the first time now in two languages, in English and Spanish. So we are seeking immigrant entrepreneurs that serve the hispanic community that may have an interest. We would like to know what kinds of support programs they need. Because we don't feel that we can simply take our English speaking version and translate it to Spanish. We want to tailor the entire program to meet the language culture, other types of needs that these folks have. So it's kind of a shout out, hey give us a call in the office and we'd like to reach out to you, talk to you and understand your needs."

More information is available by contacting the corridor at 712-264-3474 or at their website, Lakes Corridor-dot-com.