The Iowa Department of Economic Development board this (Thursday) morning unanimously voted to set aside 10-million dollars worth of grants for businesses in Newton.
Newton Mayor Chaz Allen says it will help the community recover from the loss of jobs at Maytag. “To help expand the businesses we have and then try to get new business,” Allen says. The mayor says the money can be used to try to retain jobs, too. “I’m hoping that we can get some of the businesses around that we have right now help to expand their businesses into new markets using this money,” Allen says.
Governor Tom Vilsack promised the 10-million dollars to Newton on May 10th, the day Whirlpool announced it will close Maytag administrative offices and the plant in Newton that makes Maytag washers and dryers. Allen says the 10-million will be parcelled out over three years. Two-and-a-half million will be available in the coming year. Another two-and-a-half million will be awarded in the next year and the remaining five million will be available in the third year. “We’ll be able to draw more than that if we have the projects that needs more,” Allen says.
The Iowa Economic Development Board also voted to give grants and tax breaks to ConAgra Foods in Waterloo, Embria Health Sciences in Ankeny, Tjaden Biosciences in Burlington, Raccoon Valley Biodiesel in Storm Lake, Western Dubuque Bio-diesel near Farley, Ajinomoto Food Ingredients in Eddyville, Proliant Health and Biologicals in Boone, Crystal Distribution Services in Oelwein, M-P-C Enterprises in Mount Pleasant, Kendrick of Edgewood and Palmer Candy in Sioux City.
Officials claim the 11 companies will create or retain two-hundred-58 jobs and make one-hundred-82 million dollars worth of capital investments. The board also approved new “enterprise zones” in Shelby and Winnebago Counties that will spur housing and business development.