Articles in this Newsletter:

Site/Building of the Month

Buchanan County Career Fair

Public Tours Buchanan County Businesses

Next Business Jelly in Winthrop

Wapsie Valley Creamery Project

Star Wars!!!

Support for Tech Start-Up's

SBDC Coming to Buchanan County
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Your business newsletter from the
Buchanan County Economic Development Commission

Green View Addition:  Prime commercial lots located immediately south of the new Independence Jr/Senior High School. The four lots range from 2.15-3 acres in size. All utilities are in place, fronted by a sidewalk with hard surface roads leading directly to the highway 20 Interchange.  Print Brochure  An additional 50 acres, directly east of Green View, is also available for development,

For more information, contact George Lake, Director, Buchanan County Economic Development. 319-334-7497.
Seeking a new career?
Looking for qualified employees?

(Buchanan County, IA)  Are you in need of a job, seeking better employment opportunities or would like to find work closer to home? You are in luck because Buchanan County businesses are looking to hire people with a wide array of skill sets.
Buchanan County Companies? We can help if you are looking for qualified employees to help move your business forward.
The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) and Sedona Staffing Services will be hosting a career fair on Wednesday, November 9, 4-7 p.m., at the Henderson Event Center, 2320 Iowa Ave., Independence, IA  50644 Located north of the MHI, highway 20 intersection.
The career fair is free for job seekers to attend and many Buchanan County businesses will be on hand to take applications and to share information on available jobs and future career opportunities.  Prior registration for job seekers in not required. Dress appropriately, bring a resume or employment history information and visit the career fair on November 9. 
Are you a Buchanan County business that would like to exhibit at the career fair? Go to Business Registration for Career Fair or contact George Lake at BCEDC: 319-334-7497
Other partner organizations in attendance include Iowa Workforce Development, Hawkeye Community College, Independence Area Chamber of Commerce and Veterans Affairs.
Pries Enterprises production manager Del Moore explains the aluminum extrusion process.
Amazing Tours of Buchanan County Manufacturers
(Buchanan County, IA)  In celebration of October being manufacturing month, the Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) worked in partnership with area companies to sponsor tours of their businesses.  Manufacturing Month is where we recognize and celebrate the manufacturing heritage of our communities. Buchanan County is blessed with a diverse manufacturing base that creates a wide range of products while providing good jobs for our residents. Participating companies included Wieland & Sons Lumber in Winthrop, Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing in Jesup and Geater Machining & Manufacturing, Meridian Ag Distribution and Pries Enterprise of Independence.
Touring local manufacturers provide the opportunity for companies and their employees to promote the quality of the business and the products made.  The scope and quality of goods made in Buchanan County is pretty amazing and I think it safe to say that the average citizen may not be aware what is made locally. A second and maybe more important outcome of the tours is to allow the parents of kids to see and better understand the multitude of great jobs available in manufacturing. Once parents better understand modern manufacturing they may be more willing to encourage a technical education for their children leading to a high-income, satisfying career.
Manufacturing has a massive impact on Buchanan County and Iowa’s economy as it represents 18.8% of Iowa’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contributes $31 billion to the state’s economy. Manufacturing is Iowa’s largest economic sector employing 215,000 workers and provides $13.1 billion in exports. Iowa not only feeds the world, but we provide manufactured goods to almost every nation in the world. Those who toured local businesses were offered a glimpse into some of those goods which are made in Buchanan County and exported around the world. Plus, manufacturing offers some of the highest-paid jobs available.
Geater Machining & Manufacturing, CEO Jerry Bitterman hosted the tour that I took part in. Among other business sectors, Geater’s serves the aerospace industry. Expressions of amazement were evident as Mr. Bitterman explained how products are made, their uses and where in the world or in where in outer space the products ended up. Mr. Bitterman was most proud when he said that his company is highly successful and growing because of the quality and dedication of his workforce.
You will have future opportunities to tour Buchanan County businesses as the BCEDC plans to work with area companies to offer pubic visits next October. We make some amazing things in Buchanan County and sometimes seeing is believing. We’ll see you next year.
Garden Oasis at Winthrop Business Jelly
 (Buchanan County, IA)  Come and learn where in Buchanan County the best food in the world originates!  TD n’ Guy Garden Oasis is a Community Supported Agriculture (CAS) business that delivers food to your door.  Owner T.D Holub will be the guest speaker at the Winthrop Business Jelly being held 9-noon, Thursday, October 20. The Jelly will be held at the Winthrop Business Center, 155 1st St. in the Offices of the former Plastic’s Plant located just south of the train tracks in Winthrop.
What is a Business Jelly?  A Jelly is a casual co-working event 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. There will be free refreshments and Wi-Fi.  If you are considering starting your own business or you have a business that you want to grow; then you need to attend the Winthrop Jelly.  It’s a great way to network, meet new people and work together in a social environment.

Learn from the success of others!  AT 11:30, T.D. Holub, owner of TD n’ Guy Garden Oasis, will visit about starting and growing his unique agribusiness. T.D. is a 4th generation Newton Township farmer who diversified his farm into raising vegetables, free-range chickens and eggs and delivering them directly to his customers. Check out his website and then come listen and learn from T.D. 

Buchanan County Economic Development is hosting monthly Business Jellies throughout the county. Go to to see the Jelly schedule.  In the meantime, join us at the Winthrop Business Center, 155 1st St, 9-noon, Thursday, October 20.  Want more Info?  Contact BCEDC Director George Lake 319-334-7497 
Wapsie Valley Creamery Building is Going Up!
Wapsie Valley Creamery in Independence Iowa is moving forward in their plans to establish a new refrigeration facility as part of an on-site expansion project.  The 24,000 sq. ft. several $$ million chiller building will allow Wapsie Valley to continue to expand their production capabilities and products by allowing increased storage of their high quality cheese and whey products.  In 2015, Wapsie Valley established a new cheese-making room and purchased equipment that double their production output. Acquiring new customers and creating new cheese products necessitates the Creamery’s latest expansion.
Wapsie Valley Creamery President/CEO Mark Neilson said, “We are pleased with the progress being made.  The building will be buttoned-up by winter so that interior construction can proceed on schedule. Larson Construction of Independence is the general contractor and they have been great to work with. Once completed, our new building and equipment will allow us to stay competitive in a very competitive market.”
Wapsie Valley Creamery has been a fixture in Independence for over 100 years.  It is under management by the 3rd generation of the Neilson family. The Creamery makes a wide variety of cheese and whey products that are sold throughout the United States, North America and Asia.  They are an important local economic development entity in that they have over 80 employees and purchase milk from over 300 dairy farms.
And now for something completely different!!

We present the
 film trailer for Rogue One, the next star wars movie.

May the economic development force be with us!
IEDA Funding for Technology Start-Up’s
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers a multitude of programs to assist business expansion. Here is information on two programs to assist technology related start-up businesses.
The Demonstration Fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high-technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services within a reasonable period of time.
  • The fund provides financial assistance to encourage commercialization activities by small and medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries.
  • The Demonstration Fund is designed to provide assistance to companies with market-ready innovative technologies or products that have a clear potential for commercial viability.  Awards will assist companies with marketing and business development activities, as well as to help those businesses with high-growth potential to reach a position to attract follow-on private sector funding.
  • Awards up to $100,000 will be primarily in the form of loans or royalty arrangements with a 1:2 (Private : Public) match.
The Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.
  • The fund is designed to assist businesses with new technologies that have completed the proof of concept stage and are ready to be subjected to the rigors of the proof of commercial relevance stage that includes defining the market for the product and perfecting the product to meet market needs.
  • The POCR fund will help to define and articulate the business opportunity for businesses that have demonstrated a proof-of-concept for innovative technology.
  • Awards up to $25,000 will be primarily in the form of low interest loans with a 1:2 (Private : Public) match.
To learn more about all aspects of business assistance, contact BCEDC Director George Lake, 319-334-7497  and visit the BCEDC Assistance Webpage
SBDC Coming to Buchanan County:
Time to Start New or Grow Your Business

Many existing Buchanan County businesses and new start-ups, have met with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)r in the BCEDC offices over the past tow years. Isn’t it time you took the first step to building your business?
Are you thinking about starting or expanding a business, but you’re not sure about how to proceed?  Professionals from the UNI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be operating out The Buchanan County Economic Development (BCEDC) offices on the 3rd Monday of each month.
The SBDC will next visit the BCEDC offices, 112 1st St. Independence, on Monday, November 21. Contact BCEDC Director George Lake at 319-334-7497 to set an appointment to meet with the SBDC.

It's time to take that first and second step....

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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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