Start/Grow Your Business in Emmetsburg

EMU New Business Incentive

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities (EMU) offers new businesses a 50% reduction in utility gas rates for a one year period, up to $2,500. To quality a business must: be in the first year of business, use EMU’s natural gas as the main heat source, be a small business (2+ full time employees or equivalent) engaged in the sale of goods or services directly to the consumer, be in a commercially zoned area of the City of Emmetsburg, and be a member of the Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce.

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities Retail Loan

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities (EMU) has established a Retail Revolving Loan Fund to provide financial assistance to new and expanding retail businesses in Emmetsburg for activities such as construction and remodeling of commercial property, upgrades to exterior business signage and façade, and purchase of new products and materials. Retail loans are limited to $10,000. The interest rate is fixed at 1.5% for a period of 5 years. Contact the Emmetsburg Economic Development office at 712-852-2067 to learn more.

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities Revolving Loan Fund

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities (EMU) offers gap financing in the form of reduced rate loans to bridge the financial gap that exists between owner equity and the amount lending institutions are willing to commit to the project. The program is designed to encourage new business development in Emmetsburg as well as expansion and retention of existing business. Rate and terms vary by project. Contact the Emmetsburg Economic Development office at 712-852-2067 to learn more.

Tax Abatement

All qualified real estate assessed as commercial is eligible to receive a one hundred percent (100%) exemption from taxation on the actual value added by improvement. The exemption is for a period of three (3) years.

Palo Alto County EDC Revolving Loan

The Palo Alto Economic Development Corporation (PACEDC) offers gap financing at a reduced rate to support growth of community industrial parks and entices businesses and industry to expand in Palo Alto County. Rate and terms vary by project. Generally, the term of the loan shall not exceed ten years, and the loaned funds shall provide no more than 35% of the financing for any project, up to a maximum of $50,000. Contact PACEDC Executive Director Maureen Elbert at 515.295.7979 to learn more.

NWIPDC Revolving Loan Fund

The Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission (NWIPDC) provides financial assistance to bridge the financial gap that exists between the amount private lending institutions are willing to commit for project development and the total amount needed to bring opportunities to completion. The purpose of the RLF is to support business activities for which credit is not otherwise available on terms and conditions which would permit completion and/or the successful operation or accomplishment of the project. The creation and retention of quality jobs serves as the main objective of this program. To learn more, contact Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission at 712.262.7225.

Cornbelt Power Cooperative Revolving Loan

Corn Belt Power Cooperative and its member systems provide financial expertise and assistance for business and industry to grow within the region through use of their POWER Fund. The program provides  $50,000-$150,000 for a project, not to exceed 49% of the total project, at a lower rate than the prime rate plus a 1% administrative fee. The Revolving Loan Fund was established to help create jobs and build the rural economy within 25 counties in North Central Iowa. Call Brittany Dickey at 515-332-7715 or for more information.

Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides confidential, complimentary business coaching services including business plan development, market research, marketing strategies and cash flow projections.


IA SourceLink helps small businesses succeed by providing complimentary and easy access to assistance necessary to start and grow a business.

Resource Navigator: portal connecting entrepreneurs to a network of nonprofits that provide services to help small businesses

Business Concierge: provides personalized assistance and referrals

Business License Info Center: information on licenses, permits, and regulatory information


SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts, provides mentoring and education to thousands of startup and existing businesses. SCORE is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals by providing a wide range of services to established and budding business owners alike, including: mentoring, webinars and courses on demand, library of online resources, and events at SCORE chapters.


The Tietz Entrepreneurial Center at Iowa Lakes Community College in Algona provides aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with information and resources essential for business success. Services provided include: classes and workshops, resource partners, and entrepreneur education.

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

ISU Extension’s Iowa Community Indicators Program (ICIP) provides data and research on local economic, demographic, and social trends for businesses and communities.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) connects entrepreneurs with resources to plan, launch, manage, and grow their business. The Lender Match tool helps businesses expand with loans guaranteed by the SBA.

10 Steps To Starting A Business



Brainstorm and gather information. Is there a need for your products/services? Are there other companies offering something similar? How will you be different?



Take advantage of free resources and services that provide business counseling and help with preparing a business plan, securing financing, and more.



Your business plan is the foundation of your business. It’s a road map for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. You’ll use it to convince people that working with you is a smart choice.



Your business location is an important decision and could affect your taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Purchasing property will also affect your financing needs.



Your business plan will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business. Loans, personal savings, friends and family all are options for financing.



The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your personal liability risk.



If you’re doing business under a name other than your own, you’ll need to register with the federal government and state. Verify that the name isn’t already being used.



In many cases, businesses need to obtain a federal Tax Identification Number, known as an Employer
Identification Number (EIN). In addition, businesses may need to register with the State to obtain a tax identification number to pay state and local taxes.



To run your business smoothly and legally, there may be federal and state licenses you need to obtain. Iowa alone has over 440 different types of business licenses.



Will you business have employees? Check out the Iowa Workforce Development website to determine the legal steps you need to take in order to hire employees.

Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free, confidential, customized business
coaching services covering a wide range of business topics and issues including:

  • Business Planning
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financing Opportunities
  • Cash Flow Projections
  • Customer Discovery
  • Export Assistance
  • Business Transition
  • Business Growth
  • Business Growth Strategies
  • Marketing Strategies

Request business counseling online:

Need more information or assistance?

City of Emmetsburg