A grant for new small businesses and remote workers is ready to be unveiled. Peg Raney, Economic Vitality chairperson explained, “The Jefferson Wants You Incentive Fund is designed for two purposes. One is to attract new small businesses to Jefferson that have a positive impact on the community. The other is to attract remote workers to move to Greene County.” This project is part of the Rural Return grant awarded in mid-January through the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.
Jefferson Matters: Main Street & Chamber’s Economic Vitality Team partnered with local banking institutions and utilities to apply for a Grow Greene County grant to establish this Incentive Fund. Each local entity contributed funds and volunteers to coordinate the application process and will conduct the interviews for the Incentive Fund grant awards. Partners working with the Economic Vitality Team include Jefferson Telecom, Home State Bank, Heartland Bank, Peoples Bank, Alliant Energy and includes funding from Grow Greene County.
New small businesses locating in Jefferson may apply for a maximum of $5,000 for specific one-time start-up costs to launch a new business or transition a current business. Entrepreneurship is valued here, and Jefferson wants to welcome small businesses to our current mix. There are gaps in the community for retail and services, so this funding opportunity may encourage someone to return to the community with a business plan. On-going and administrative expenses are not eligible.
New or relocating remote workers planning to reside in Greene County can apply for a year’s membership for a floating desk at Gravitate Coworking in downtown Jefferson. Current remote workers may also apply for this membership. Conditions include that workers would utilize this coworking space for at least 3 days/week.
Applications with the terms and conditions specified are located on the Jefferson Matters website at www.jeffersonmatters.org under the Resources tab. Both applications are available as fillable PDFs and can be emailed to Beth Vander Wilt, Executive Director of Jefferson Matters: Main Street & Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to 201 E Lincoln Way, Jefferson, IA 50129.
Applications will be reviewed by the selection committee as they are received, with in-person or virtual interviews scheduled. These Incentive Funds grants will be awarded as long as funding is available.
The picture below is from Grow Greene County awards night on April 6, 2022, with representatives from the local partners in attendance along with Abby McConnell who is coordinating the Rural Return project.