The state’s largest chambers of commerce are among a variety of groups pressing legislators to re-establish a big money state grant program for new and expanding businesses. Ron Corbett, the president and C-E-O of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, is also the chair of the Iowa Chamber Alliance. “We’re strong supporters of the Iowa Values Fund and want (legislators) to renew it this legislative session and come up with a permanent funding source,” Corbett says. “This on- and off-again program that’s resulted in the last couple of years is foolish.” The legislature created a half a BILLION dollar, seven-year Iowa Values Fund to dole out huge grants to businesses, but a state Supreme Court ruling this past summer nullified the fund. The Iowa Chamber Alliance members include chambers and economic development organizations in Ames, Bettendorf, Burlington/West Burlington, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo.
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