In the Know - OCMS Resources



The numerous perks of being a Main Street Community range from professional advice about window displays to help with complex grant applications. People seeking to open a business in Osceola are not alone, especially in the historic downtown. Knowledgeable Realtors understand the downtown building market and know about OCMS assistance. OCMS and their partners provide a hand-up to businesses while creating and promoting local tourism.

Owning a building requires dedication and commitment, but a historic building comes with the responsibility and appreciation of preservation. Potential entrepreneurs usually understand the risks associated with owning a business. They often have an idea of what they want to achieve when they look at open buildings, but what if the idea is not what is needed in the community? What if the building needs a lot of work?

OCMS Director, Ashleigh Eckels, provides solid information gathered from community surveys about what type of business the community wants/needs and would presumably support. She will give an overview of Main Street resources including grant funding. Armed with the right resources and a network of OCMS Business Partner support, budding entrepreneurs have a ‘leg up’ in their quest to succeed. When local businesses succeed everyone wins. Two recent examples of downtown OCMS-supported business openings include Mayhew’s Market and the Osceola Quilt Company. As a hometown family, Rob and Mitch Mayhew had an established name, and their rolling fresh seafood market claimed customers in several towns. They formed local partnerships to sell shrimp through Timber Ridge Country Market and the Woodburn Café and when they decided to open a brick-and-mortar business, they became an OCMS Business Partner.

Carol Tompkins opened her quilt shop knowing this type of business was high on the community survey list of priorities. Having decades of experience as a quilter, and offering quilting services provided a solid background. OCMS helped locate a building (with a façade soon to be renovated through the CDBG Grant) based on her requirements and neighboring OCMS Business Partner, SalonRed owner, Laura Langholz, provided a package-drop site as well as encouragement as Carol endured long delays of fabric and other goods.

Not looking in downtown? No problem as OCMS supports other businesses with signage, façade work and promoting events.

Do you have a unique business idea or do you want to own an existing downtown business? Being a Main Street Community provides Osceola’s Downtown businesses and/or building owners with many resources and grant opportunities. As noted in the previous ‘In the Know’ article, OCMS partnerships provide multiple resource opportunities.

Local OCMS Grants
Sign & Awning Grant -  Available to all OCMS Small Business Owner members. 1:1 matching funds
Building Improvement Grant- In partnership with Clarke County Development Corporation: A 50% reimbursement grant up to $15,000 for the actual costs of exterior rehabilitation expenses.
Back Door Grant- In partnership with Clarke County Development Corporation: A 50% reimbursement grant up to $15,000 for the actual costs of exterior rehabilitation expenses.

Main Street Resources:
Small businesses in need of resources to start or grow their business can find easy to access tools including legal requirements, federal funding information and help for small businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, or individuals with disabilities. *A grant requires the buyer or business owner to contribute a certain percentage of the funds.*

Main Street Iowa Grants:
Open 4 Business: $8,000-$28,000
Purpose:
1. Stimulate and support business expansion projects in Main Street districts
2. Create a positive climate for additional district investment
3. Support local revitalization efforts
4. Demonstrate “Main Street at work” in the local community
5. Provide local Main Street programs with an exclusive financial incentive program
6. Create additional jobs and business growth

Challenge Grant: $25,000-$100,00
The Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant is by Main Street Iowa (MSI) and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for brick-and-mortar building projects in designated Main Street districts. Highly competitive applications include:
• Comprehensive building rehabilitation projects that provide increased business, housing, or job opportunities.
• Projects that incorporate quality design and preservation-based strategies.
• Projects that support local revitalization efforts and stimulate additional district investment.
• Projects that are well planned and achievable within the two-year contract period.
These examples of resources and funding give a glimpse into what makes Main Street and OCMS vital resources for businesses, building owners and the community. To learn more, reach out to Ashleigh Eckels 641-342-4200 or [email protected]

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10:00 AM CST
130 W. Grant Street
Osceola, IA 50213
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5:30 PM CST
130 W. Grant Street
Osceola, IA 50213
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116 E Webster Street
Osceola, IA 50213
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Dec 09, 2022
11:00 AM CST
116 E Webster Street
Osceola, IA 50213
Read More