Site/Building of the Month: Jesup Industrial Park

Buchanan County Housing Study Begins

Peyton's Sporing Goods: Business Success Story

Factors that Drive Business Location Decisions

The Farmer's Wife: Inspires at Jesup Business Jelly

Farmland Values Decline: Benefits in the changes

Change of Dates for SBDC Visits to Buchanan County

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Your business newsletter from the
Buchanan County Economic Development Commission

Jesup East Industrial Park
Approximately 8 acres available in an established industrial park. All utilities are to the site.  You will have excellent transportation access with 4-lane U.S. Highway just 1.5 miles distance and I-380 only 8 miles away. Jesup has a long history of being supportive of business growth and expansion.  And of course, you will have access to Iowa’s highly educated workforce with close proximity to Hawkeye Community College and the University of Northern Iowa. Need a quality location to grow your business? We have a spot for you in Jesup.  Contact George Lake, 319-334-7497,
Buchanan County Housing Study Begins
Housing needed for growing county population!
(Buchanan County, IA)  The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) has been awarded an USDA Rural Business Development grant to help pay for a county-wide housing needs assessment.  The first step for the housing study was undertaken when 34 individuals representing all 11 Buchanan County communities met at the Independence VFW to discuss housing concerns. The completed study will enable expansion of housing options by making communities eligible for additional grants, tax credits and loans to build new housing. New housing options will create an environment to facilitate population growth in our communities.
Winthrop Mayor Gerald Dennie and Jesup Mayor Pro-Tem Dawn Vogel both commented at the housing task force meeting that their communities have just 1-2 available building lots and it has been years since new apartments have been built. Residents from Hazleton, Fairbank, Aurora and Stanley mentioned that with 300 new manufacturing jobs coming to Oelwein, they would like to position their communities to provide the housing needed to support the new jobs.
Pries Enterprises President, Matt McMahon said, “A majority of Pries’ workforce lives outside of Independence and many of them would like to live in town, but there is a lack of housing. It will be easier for Pries to recruit and keep employees if more local housing choices were available.”
BCEDC Director George Lake explained, “U.S. Census estimates released earlier this year show that 71 of Iowa’s 99 counties have lost population since the 2010 census.  Fortunately, Buchanan County is one of the counties that have not lost population. Reasons for our population gain include proximity to larger metropolitan counties and Buchanan County having a strong industrial base. While Buchanan County has not lost population, our estimated growth is under 1%. We have the opportunity to take proactive steps to create an environment for growth in Buchanan County to facilitate population growth.  Completing the housing study will encourage the new housing needed to facilitate business and population growth.”
For additional information on the Buchanan County Housing Study, contact Buchanan County Economic Development Director George Lake, 319-334-7497 

SBDC Director Amy Dutton, Steve and Carrie Peyton

Peyton’s Sporting Goods: Success Story
The SBDC: Helping to Grow Buchanan County Businesses

(Buchanan County, IA)  The mission of UNI’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is:  “To have a positive impact on the economy of the State of Iowa and its communities. We do this by providing the highest quality assistance to current and future businesses and by collaborating with other federal, state, local and private resources to ensure maximum benefit to client.”
The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) shares the mission of the University of Northern Iowa SBDC, to facilitate the growth businesses for the betterment of our communities. Collaboration occurs by having the BCEDC host the SBDC in their Independence offices. Buchanan County businesses can benefit from the services of both the SBDC and Buchanan County Economic Development. 

Peyton’s Sporting Goods
of Hazleton is a positive case study of how the hard work and aspirations of a small business owner can benefit from working with the SBDC.  Steve and Carrie Peyton of Hazleton moved from dreams to reality when they opened their Sporting Goods store a little over 1.5 years ago.  Steve parlayed his love all things outdoors and his ability to fix almost everything, into a business that sells and services boats/motors, guns and hunting supplies and all things related to fishing.  The Peytons met early-on with folks from the SBDC to develop a business and marketing plan to insure that their business had a successful beginning. Now, 18 months later, the Steve and Carrie Peyton returned to Independence to meet with SBDC Director Amy Dutton and BCEDC Director George Lake to plan the next phase of their business growth.
“We are far more successful than we had hoped,” said Steve Peyton. “Our business has grown much more quickly than anticipated which has led us to expand our products and services. We are at the point where we need to make changes in how we operate our business so that we can better control our growth and serve our customers. The SBDC helped start our business, and now we can use some advice on how to continue our growth.” 
SBDC Director Amy Dutton quickly gave credit to the success of Peyton’s Sporting Goods to the Peyton’s work ethic and Steve’s engaging personality in helping to market their company. Amy agreed with Steve and Carrie that a plan was needed to better direct and manage their growth.
Do you need business assistance? The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) host’s the SBDC on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in their Independence office. Contact BCEDC Director George Lake if you want to visit with professionals who can provide direction and resources to assist in starting or growing your business. 319-334-7497
Factors that Drive Location Decisions
for Business Expansion

Top Site Selection Factors of 2016
Source: Area Development Online   December 22, 2016
This series examines the top-10 location factors from Area Development’s Q1/2016 Corporate Survey that determine where our readers will locate and/or expand their facilities. Availability of skilled labor is their primary concern, followed by highway accessibility. Our readers are also concerned about prospective locations’ quality of life. Find out what else companies like yours should consider when making your next location/expansion decision.
#1: Availability of Skilled Labor Last year: #5
It pretty much goes without saying that any operation — new or expanding — will need an adequate supply of workers who have whatever skills are required to do the job well.
#2: Highway Accessibility Last Year: #1
It is, of course, no coincidence that nearly all of the nation’s biggest manufacturing facilities and distribution centers can be found alongside major highways.
#3: Quality of Life Last Year: N/A
What constitutes quality of life depends largely on the eye of the beholder, and that eye may gaze through different lenses at different times. 
#4: Occupancy OR Construction Costs Last Year: #2
It’s easy to see why occupancy or construction costs are a factor that a lot of people are keeping an eye on...these costs are trending upward. 
#5: Available Buildings Last Year: #4
People expect near-instant delivery on just about everything these days, and companies seeking new facilities are more likely than ever to want to pick a location and have it up and running as quickly as possible.
#6: Labor Costs Last Year: #6
How labor cost impacts total cost depends on the type of project being considered—headquarters, data centers, call centers/back office, retail, warehouse/distribution, manufacturing, etc.
#7: Corporate Tax Rate  Last Year: #10
In today’s world, corporate decision-makers want to invest in areas with a “fair” tax structure.
#8: Proximity to Major Markets  Last Year: #8
With the ever-growing passion for faster customer delivery, proximity to major markets is becoming an increasingly important site selection factor.  
#9: State and Local Incentives  Last Year: #11
States are highly competitive with each other for investments and jobs and therefore offer incentives that can help offset project and operating costs and make a significant impact in the final decision. 
#10: Energy Availability and Costs Last Year: #9
Energy availability and costs are important for every project, but especially critical for industries that consume large amounts of energy, such as manufacturing, distribution, and data centers.
Ms. Pat McIntosh of the Farmer's Wife.
Photo Courtesy of the Jesup Citizen Herald

The Farmer’s Wife: Inspiring Others at the
Jesup Business Jelly

 (Buchanan County, IA)  For the past year, the Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) has been sponsoring a series of informal, business working and networking sessions to encourage an entrepreneurial approach to business development. These sessions, known as Jellies, are casual co-working events where entrepreneurs, freelancers, home workers, and people running businesses meet in order to get out of their normal work space. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops and spend the morning working and networking outside their office and networking with other business professionals. The Jellies have been held in Jesup, Fairbank, Winthrop and Independence.

A key component of each Jelly is having a local, successful business person speak to attendees about how they began their businesses and how they address the day-to-day challenges of maintaining their business. Hearing of the trials, the tribulations and successes of our neighbors can inspire us to pursue our own business aspirations. Jellies enable’s participants to learn from the success of other. Ms. Pat McIntosh provided such inspiration at the recent Jesup Business Jelly.

Ms. McIntosh is the owner of a startup business in Jesup. The Farmer’s Wife is a highly successful flower and gift shop that has bloomed under Ms. McIntosh’s management and marketing skills.  Speaking at the Jelly, Pat shared the story of how she started The Farmer’s Wife in 2000 when she purchased the former Fenner Barbershop in which to grow her business. She explained that her family was immeasurable supportive of her endeavors and that she did not take home a paycheck in her first two years of operating the business. Pat sells flowers, gifts, artwork and books. Ms. McIntosh is a talented artist and author and the store is an outlet for selling her own creations. Pat feels that she is successful because she is attuned to the needs of her community and she strives to fill that need.  

The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) will continue to host monthly Jellies throughout Buchanan County. We will be taking a hiatus during the winter and the next Jelly will be held at the Stanley Fire Station in March.  Contact BCEDC Director George Lake with questions or suggestions on the Buchanan County Business Jellies.  319-334-7497

Farmland Values Decline
Benefits of lower land values
According to research conducted by Iowa State University CARD (Center for Agricultural & Rural Development), average Iowa farmland value has shown a decline for the third year in a row—the first time this has happened since the 1980s farm crisis—and is now estimated to be $7,183 per acre. The statewide per acre value declined $450, or 5.9 percent, since November, 2015. Farmland values hit a historic high in 2013, but have steadily declined since then. The statewide average value for an acre of farmland is now about 17.5 percent lower than 2013 values.  Buchanan County per-acre value changed from $8,447 in 2015 to $7,913 in 2016.
Benefits of lower prices for ground: (by George Lake) Clearly there is a range of negative economic impacts due to declining land values, but there are some beneficial consequences.  Many experts feel that farmland has been overvalued and declining land values bring about a more realistic appraisal of the true worth of the land.  A variety of factors have contributed to a decline in corn and soybean prices that in turn cannot support a realistic ROI on high-priced ground. Secondly, lower land costs will make it easier for young farmers to purchase ground. Inflated land prices make it difficult for many farmers to buy the ground need to expand their operations. Additional beneficiaries include wildlife and conservation efforts. Much marginal ground was given to row-crops during times of high commodity and land values. Lower prices will encourage land owners to place less-productive ground into land conservation programs.
Overview of ISU Land Value Survey:
Since 1941, Iowa State University has conducted an annual land value survey to collect and analyze information on land values in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. In 2015,
 Dr. Wendong Zhang, an assistant professor of economics, took over responsibility as lead researcher on the project.

This newly developed, interactive web portal provides an intuitive way for landowners, producers, agricultural professionals, and policymakers to learn more about the farmland market in Iowa and the Midwest. In particular, it offers the following functions and tools:

Current Results — the most recent results from the annual Iowa State University Land Value Survey.
Charts — a comparison of land value trends across regions, data sources, and over time.
Interactive County Maps — spatial visualization of land value and changes in land value for each of the 99 counties in Iowa.
Downloads — datasets on land value trends from ISU, USDA, Federal Reserve and Realtor Land Institute.
FAQ — answers to commonly asked questions regarding the ISU Land Value Survey and the farmland market in general.
Resources — publications, presentations and resources like farmland auction prices.
Media CoverageHistory, and Survey Archive
 — learn more about land value trends from previous ISU surveys, land auction results, industry farmland value index, and media reports.
Change of Dates for SBDC Visits
to Buchanan County

Professionals from the UNI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) meet monthly in Buchanan County with new and existing businesses. The SBDC will continue to meet at the offices of the Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC), but they will attend on a different day.  New meeting times and dates will be: 9:00 - 3:00 on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
Are you thinking about starting or expanding a business, but you’re not sure about how to proceed?   The SBDC will next visit the BCEDC offices at 112 1st St. Independence, on Tuesday, January 17. We can help!  

Contact BCEDC Director George Lake at 319-334-7497 to set an appointment to meet with the SBDC.
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The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC)
P.O. Box 109
Independence, IA  50644

Street address: 112 1st St. East, Independence,  IA  50644

Contact: George Lake, Executive Director

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Buchanan County Economic Development Co. · P.O. Box 109 · Independence, IA 50644 · USA

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