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Iowa’s Certified Site program streamlines the site selection process and offers developers multiple categories to fit their needs, including a green business park, industrial sites and parks, and mega sites (1,000 acres or more).
As the business world evolves at a rapid pace, the ability to scale up quickly can be a game-changer for long-term profitability. Certified sites can offer large square footage options for fast-tracked projects.
Unlike some states who certify shovel-ready sites by their own criteria (which can vary widely from state to state), Iowa’s certification program uses nationally recognized standards and an independent, third-party site selection firm, Quest Site Solutions.
Quality Over Quantity
The Iowa Certified Site Program is designed to consider a combination of national site location standards as well as Iowa’s natural assets and the needs of key business sectors, including advanced manufacturing, finance and insurance and the biosciences. To become certified, sites go through a rigorous review process, and all resulting issues must be mitigated within the designated timeline depending on site size. The outcome is a “risk-free” site, which accelerates the development schedule for today’s fast-moving business environment.
There are currently more than 20 development-ready locations across the state, and nine other sites are working toward designation.
While the number of certified sites in Iowa is growing, the state emphasizes that having the most certified sites is not the goal. “We’re using the most robust certification program in the country,” said Amy Kuhlers, IEDA’s Certified Site Program manager. “Our focus on quality, not quantity, is driving the program’s success.”
While Iowa’s Certified Site Program helps set the state apart from the competition, it’s the combination of many factors that have made Iowa a Midwest hub for business opportunity and job creation.
Iowa understands its strengths and workforce talents, and has enacted legislation to support the advancement of key industries.
More than 80 insurance companies are headquartered in Iowa and benefit from a 1 percent insurance premium tax. Iowa became the first state in the nation to develop a tax credit program to support the renewable chemicals industry. And, Iowa’s universities and community colleges have labs and programs to support Iowa manufacturers looking to adopt automation.
In a state with world-renowned research institutions and innovation, Iowa bioscience companies are at the forefront of breakthroughs in plant, animal and human bioscience industries.
The state’s success may be partially due to its business climate, which consistently ranks among the best in the nation. Iowa also has lower rental and construction costs than the national average, lower payroll costs, lower workers’ compensation costs and lower utility costs. Its central location provides a transportation infrastructure that can support a wide array of needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com to find out how an Iowa location can improve your bottom line.