Financial Incentives

The following financial incentive programs are available through cooperative efforts of the State of Iowa, Fayette County, the City of Oelwein, OCAD, and local financial institutions.

Revolving Loan Fund

The City of Oelwein Revolving Loan Fund became available in October of 2007 to make monies available to help businesses in downtown Oelwein improve their properties, expand, land/building acquisitions and more. In 2015, a second fund was received from USDA to enhance the existing program and increase the capabilities of funding new and existing businesses. Applications are available at the OCAD office at 25 W. Charles Street.


Eligible Projects:

Any project, which will create permanent employment, diversification of the local economy, or increase to the local tax base in the City of Oelwein. Project activities which can be funded with the RLF funds include, but are not limited to: land acquisition, site preparation, building acquisition, building construction, building remodeling, machinery & equipment, furniture & amp; fixtures, and working capital for business start-up and expansion activities.


Eligible Applicants:

Applicants eligible for RLF funds include, but are not limited to: individuals, partnerships, businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations in the City of Oelwein. Revolving loan funds cannot be used for refinancing existing debt.


Application Procedure:

Applications for the RLF will be accepted by the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development office on a contuous basis. The Oelwein Loan Review Board will review completed applications within 30 days of receipt. Applicants will be formally notified of approval, contingency approval, or denial within 10 days of the review. To apply, applicants will need to submit an RLF/IRP applicaion along with an application fee to the address listed at the top of the front page of the application.


RLF Programs:

1) Finance special assessments for main street improvements. - No minimum loan amount. Maximum loan amount is $125,000. Interest is tied to the terms of the loan: 3% for up to 3 year loan, 4% for 4 year loan, 5% for 5 year loan. Term of loan not to exceed five years. No application fee.


2) Finance façade improvements - Loans are $1,000 - $25,000. Interest rate is 1% for a one year loan, 2% for a loan two - five years. Term of loan not to exceed five years. Applicant must hold title to the property. No application fee.


3) Make loans to starting and expanding businesses and community projects - Loans are $5,000 - $125,000. Interest rate is 0% - 8%. Terms of loan are not to exceed five years with potential for balloon loans. The project must have at least 10% equity. Priority given for job creation. Bank denial letter must accompany application. Application fee is $100.


Intake for loan applicants through the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development office. Loans approved through the City of Oelwein RLF Board.


Non-discrimination Statement

"This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer."

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866)632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S. W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax *202)690-7442 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Downtown businesses can be successfully remodeled using available loan funds.

Loan Pools were created to encourage business in Oelwein and improvement of existing Oelwein business buildings. Please check with local banks for current rates on the loans they offer.


Full disclosure of rules, regulations, application requirements, necessary documentation and other details of the program are contained in the application. Approved borrowers will be subject to other requirements also listed on the application. There is a 60-day limit to close on approved loans. If the applicant cannot close on the loan within 60 days of approval, the business may request an extension.




Tax Abatement

Assistance to industry in the form of property tax abatement over a 3-5 year period, to be used for new construction or property improvement. Qualifications are determined by actual facility investment.

Urban Renewal Program
Incentives to build or remodel residential or business property.

Enterprise Zones - The City of Oelwein works with the Fayette County Enterprise Zone Commission and the State of Iowa to provide building assistance in certain approved areas.

Fayette County has two revolving loan funds available to small business
1.) Job creation oriented loans offer $8,000 to $9,000 in incentives per job created. 2.) Non-job creation oriented loans.

State of Iowa New Jobs and Income Program (NJIP)
Assistance to increase job training for value-added production or service in Iowa through extended property tax abatement and additional state corporate income tax credits. Qualify by creation of at least 50 new production jobs with a median wage that changes quarterly plus a $3 million capital investment.

State of Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program
Assistance in the form of reimbursement of trainees and trainers wages, travel, materials. To be used as job training only. Qualifications are based on the number of jobs created and annual payroll over 3 years.

State of Iowa Community Economic Betterment Account (CEBA)
Assistance in the form of low interest, no interest or forgivable loans. Estimate of $3,000 per job created. To be used for fixed assets and/or for working capital. A certain wage is required for each new job created, changing quarterly.

State of Iowa Income Job Tax Credit
State income tax credit of $1,422 per job created. To be used in hiring new Iowa workers. Credit against state form; can carry forward up to 7 years.

SBA 504 Loan Program
40% of total project cost, Second Lien. Can be used for land, buildings, and certain equipment. For businesses employing less than 500.

Rail/RISE Economic Development Program
80% of infrastructure construction costs, up to $100,000 maximum. Use for rail or road extensions or improvements. Need to be filed by the city; 30-45 days review process.

Iowa Corn Value-Added Grants

Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) is reactivating its Value-Added Grant Program to offer assistance to farmer-owned coopertives, businesses, groups and individuals interested in establishing value-added corn-based businesses. For information, visit their website at



Housing Incentives

City of Oelwein incentives to owners of newly constructed single family residential dwellings and/or condominiums:

  • Waiver of Statutory Building Permit Fees
  • Waiver of Statutory Water and Sewer Hook-up Fees
  • Free Water and Sewer Services for six months from date of occupancy by the first individual qualifying for a homestead exemption on the newly constructed home
  • Five-year Property Tax Abatement
  • A single season family pass to the Oelwein Family Aquatics Center
  • A single season family membership to the Williams Wellness Center
  • Season tickets for two to the Williams Center for Performing Arts
  • The Trees Forever program will provide two free trees (choice) for any new house built within city limits.

Some restrictions apply.

Fayette County Incentives
The certified Enterprise Zone allows developers additional benefits for qualified projects. Developers and contractors either building or rehabilitating housing may be eligible to receive:

  • Refund of state sales, service or use taxes paid during construction
  • Investment Tax Credit up to 10% of investment directly related to construction or rehabilitation on the first $140,000 of value for each home or unit. This credit may be carried forward up to seven years.

(NOTE: Projects must meet Eligibility Requirements established by the City of Oelwein and/or Fayette County Enterprise Zone Commission. Prior approval must be determined prior to construction. This is for information use only. Phone 319-283-1105 to find out how to apply for benefits.)

For a confidential assessment of potential incentives for your proposed building project, relocation or expansion, please contact:

Bruce Bearinger
Economic Development Director
Oelwein Chamber & Area Development
25 West Charles, Oelwein IA 50662
Email: bThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Deb Howard

Executive Director

Oelwein Chamber & Area Development

25 West Charles, Oelwein IA 50662


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Iowa Department of Economic Development
for more information about qualifications
and availability of state programs

Fayette County Economic Development
Karla Organist, Executive Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
for more information about Fayette County programs

City of Oelwein
Mayor, Peggy Sherrets - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
City Administrator, Jamie Letzring - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Oelwein Chamber

Oelwein was named "Hub City" because of the rail lines coming into town and the repair shops located there.

Deb Howard

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  25 West Charles St. Oelwein, Iowa 50662