Make Us Your First Call When Considering an Expansion

Jun 10, 2019

A letter from Doug Neumann, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance -

A company I won't name has been a strong supporter of the Economic Alliance for many years. Company leaders generously devote time, money, ideas and other intangible value to help us do the work we do to help businesses succeed and to grow the economy. Yet when this company was planning an expansion project, it didn't connect with the Economic Alliance until it was almost too late. Ultimately, we did get together, and our economic development team was able to provide substantive help that led to additional financial resources for the company and its successful project.

I would have had huge regrets had this company - which provides so much support to us — not taken advantage of a service in which we were able to return the favor to them.

Although we have significant resources designated for business retention and expansion work, it feels as though we don't talk about this important piece of our organization often enough. We want to be certain Economic Alliance members know about the support we can provide to existing business retention and expansion projects. And we want to be sure you call when you are looking at expansion projects, especially those in which you're adding jobs or making substantial capital investment.

Project activity has been strong with two project announcements just last month being the latest in a line of successes so far in 2019. As we often say, we're proud to be a small part of their business success.

Future Line LLC, a comprehensive provider of small and large fleet truck equipment solutions and Eastern Iowa’s largest truck equipment, parts and service provider, announced plans for a $3.9M business expansion in Cedar Rapids. Future Line plans to construct a 30,000-square-foot facility to unify their 4th Street truck equipment location and their aluminum manufacturing portion of the business located at 5549 6th Street SW. The additional manufacturing space also sets the stage for a new contract parts manufacturing division. This project will create 14 new jobs.

The Economic Alliance helped Future Line prepare application for state assistance that won support from the Iowa Economic Development Authority last month. We provide this kind of expert support routinely - and without charge — for our member companies.

West Side Transport, a 50-year-old family owned transportation and logistics company, announced plans for an $8M business expansion for a new corporate headquarters located on 6th Street SW, just north of Tharp Road SW in Cedar Rapids. West Side Transport has been in a 35,000-square-foot facility at 4201 16th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids. Plans for the new location include a 50,000-square-foot building with office space and a maintenance shop. The new facility will provide an opportunity for business growth potential.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has approved a Revitalizing Iowa’s Sound Economy (RISE) grant for $825,000 to add turning lanes from Highway 965 to West Side Transport for better safety and to best accommodate the increased number of trucks, trailers and cars to their new location. The Economic Alliance assisted in preparation of the RISE grant to the Department of Transportation. This was a more unusual project for us, but a good example of the kind of problem-solving, 'whatever-it-takes' attitude that our Team brings to economic growth projects.

Not only will these businesses continue to operate, thrive and grow here, but they will better our business community with quality jobs, improved infrastructure and increased economic impact.

When your business is considering an expansion project, I hope you'll reach out to us to see if we might be able to connect you to resources, provide direct assistance or help figure out solutions that make your project possible.

Sincerely,

Doug Neumann,
Executive Director




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