Overview

Every year the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines highlights the work our members do by awarding the Strong Communities Award. The award demonstrates the value that communities throughout the FHLB Des Moines district derive from small business and economic development projects. The award recognizes the results of these projects and their impact on creating stronger communities.

What does the award measure?

  1. Impact

    The project identified economic development needs of the community and provided a solution.

  2. Results

    The project demonstrated specific economic development benefits to your community.

  3. Collaboration

    The project included financial or human contributions from an FHLB Des Moines member financial institution.

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Rural Projects

  1. Columbia Bank’s Warm Springs IDA Program

    Columbia Bank’s Warm Springs IDA Program

    Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Oregon

    Columbia Bank’s Warm Springs IDA Program

    Columbia Bank’s Warm Springs IDA Program

    FHLB Des Moines Member: Columbia State Bank

    Location: Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Oregon

    Population: ~3,300

    The Need: Many of the individuals who live on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation experience financial problems. Those who are able to save a few dollars support not only their immediate families, but members of their extended families. In this climate, made even more challenging by the isolation of the reservation, it is very difficult for aspiring business owners, homeowners, or potential students to feel a sense of hope, to save money, or to actively plot a course towards achieving their goals.

    Key Players: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), the Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT), Columbia State Bank’s Madras Branch.

    The Results: WSCAT created a program to assist families on the reservation through an individual development account (IDA) and various financial and homeownership services. Currently, the Warm Springs Community IDA Program has 121 participants, 21 of whom are saving in small business IDA’s, 23 for education, 48 are homeownership, nine for home renovation, 17 for vehicle purchase, and three for assisted technology. The program has 78 graduates to date, including 73 who have graduated since the program expanded in 2013.

    Full Story:

    Located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, the Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people of limited economic means achieve economic independence and greater integration in their communities.

    WSCAT decided in 2013 to aggressively expand its small Warm Springs Community IDA Program, a matched savings individual development account (IDA) program first established in 2008.

    Through this program, clients receive a 5:1 match rate; that is, for every dollar they save; they receive $5 towards the purchase of an asset. The program helps low-income individuals and families become homeowners, small business owners, and graduates of post-secondary education programs; enables them to make their current homes safer and more habitable.

    Since late 2013, in partnership with Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines member Columbia Bank, WSCAT has expanded its IDA client base to over 200 clients, with as many as 125 having open accounts at any given time.

    While the Warm Springs Community IDA Program provides the knowledge and skill set for creating and implementing a business plan, the addition of this incubator, will further support new business initiatives and economic growth.

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  2. LIFT’s Strategic Vision for Commercial Revitalization

    LIFT’s Strategic Vision for Commercial Revitalization

    Luverne, Minnesota

    LIFT’s Strategic Vision for Commercial Revitalization

    LIFT’s Strategic Vision for Commercial Revitalization

    FHLB Des Moines Member: Exchange State Bank

    Location: Luverne, Minnesota

    Population: 4,658

    The Need: From 2006 through 2009, downtown Luverne went through significant changes. The doors of small businesses closed. Commercial and residential property was in disrepair. Local retail spending was in significant decline. Property sales slowed. Restaurants closed. Citizens, once proud of their community, began to identify significant local issues like the lack of amenities and the ability to meet residential and business needs.

    Key Players: Luverne Initiatives For Tomorrow (LIFT), local community leaders and Exchange State Bank.

    The Results: The City of Luverne has seen considerable investment in the establishment and development of private businesses and the enhancement of public and private facilities.

    Full Story:

    In 2010, over 170 community members of all ages, backgrounds and interests gathered together to identify and address local issues in the City of Luverne. Through the creation of Luverne Initiatives for Tomorrow (LIFT), a blue print for success was developed.

    Among the objectives included improving aesthetics, creating vitality, encouraging enterprise, authenticity and education, enhancing marketing and increasing business cohesiveness.

    The results have been successful and numerous, from streetscape enhancements, recruitment and retention of small businesses, historic façade and signage improvements, a marketing strategy designed to unify the community and encourage outsiders to visit the area and the creation of a local business network and training program.

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines member financial institution Exchange State Bank supported the efforts by funding major projects and providing donations to several local causes.

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  3. Vision Brookings III

    Vision Brookings III

    Brookings, South Dakota

    Vision Brookings III

    Vision Brookings III

    FHLB Des Moines Members: First Bank & Trust

    Location: Brookings, South Dakota

    Population: 22,895

    The Need: Looking to build upon the success of two previous community projects, Vision Brookings III aims to address the region’s workforce, business development and entrepreneurship issues.

    Key Players: Brookings Economic Development Corporation, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Brookings, Inc., First Bank & Trust and five additional local financial institutions.

    The Results: To date, Vision Brookings III has raised $2.4 million in cash pledges and $150,700 in in-kind donations. This project will continue through 2021 and 120 investors including 44 new businesses and individuals have already seen significant value in what has been accomplished.

    Full Story:

    Vision Brookings has directly supported numerous community projects to create economic opportunities for college students, graduates and families while promoting the creation of sustainable economic future for Brookings.

    Initiatives of Vision Brookings include business expansion and recruitment, support of the Research Park at South Dakota State University, workforce development and support for entrepreneurship.

    Among the highlights include the creation of the Brookings Technology Commercialization Center as a laboratory and production space designed to support entrepreneurial efforts to commercialize public and private research.

    Housing market studies were conducted to identify and address affordable housing issues, resulting in the construction of 1,378 new housing units.

    Support was provided to Enterprise Institute, a private, non-profit corporation that provides customized business development, commercialization and market research services to entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

    In addition, a full-time director and staff were employed to facilitate customized training and community education to assist area residents, employees and businesses.

    Since the start of these projects, Brookings has received numerous national accolades.

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines member financial institution First Bank and Trust is a major supporter of the initiative.

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  4. Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation Project

    Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation Project

    Iowa Falls, Iowa

    Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation Project

    Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation Project

    FHLB Des Moines Member: GNB Bank and Iowa Falls State Bank

    Location: Iowa Falls, Iowa

    Population: 5,128

    The Need: A study showed a significant need for housing opportunities in the Iowa Falls area, negatively impacting local businesses and industry.

    Key Players: Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation (IFADC), Greenbelt Bank and Trust, and two FHLB Des Moines members: GNB Bank and Iowa Falls State Bank.

    The Results: The Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation have begun to implement a project to grow the number of housing opportunities in their community. By 2020 they would like to provide 325 additional housing units which include a variety of options such as: for-sale units, general-occupancy rental units and senior units.

    Full Story:

    In 2014, many local Iowa Falls industries and businesses were finding great difficulty in hiring and retaining their employees due to a shortage of available housing.

    The Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation (IFADC), in partnership with local businesses and financial institutions, conducted a housing study to address the issue. The results discovered an estimated potential demand for 325 housing units over the remainder of the decade.

    Projects moved forward quickly to create housing opportunities, beginning with the vacated Ellsworth Municipal Hospital. Work began to renovate the hospital into a residential development consisting of single family detached homes, row homes, mansion townhomes, apartments and condominiums. The first of a multi-phase project has been completed with nearly 18 units ready for sale.

    In addition, three buildings located in the historical downtown of Iowa Falls underwent renovation to create seven upper story apartments, while developers in the area are contemplating turning over 200 acres into single-family and stand-alone homes.

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines member financial institutions GNB Bank and Iowa Falls State Bank have been instrumental in the process, supporting numerous projects beyond the standard market rate loans.

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Urban Projects

  1. Bank of Hawaii

    Bank of Hawaii

    Hawaii

    Bank of Hawaii

    Bank of Hawaii

    FHLB Des Moines Members: Bank of Hawaii

    Location: Hawaii

    The Need: Studies indicate that one out of three former foster youth in Hawaii experience some sort of homelessness, higher than the national average of 24%. In addition, studies show that 67% of former foster youth are dependent upon public assistance in comparison to just 7% of their peers.

    Key Players: Annie E Casey Foundation, EPIC Ohana, Inc., Hawaii Community Foundation, State of Hawaii, Bank of Hawaii, Hale Kipa, the Queen Liliukalani Trust and the Victoria S and Bradley L Geist Foundation.

    The Results: The Hawaii Youth Opportunities Initiative provides support to help youth and young adults leaving foster care become successful, productive adults. As of July 1, 2017, 643 completed eight hours of financial literacy training and opened two bank savings accounts, with one being an Individual Development Account, which can be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per year based on the participant’s savings. Participants have made $823,000 in withdrawals for qualified asset purchases such as starting a business, paying rent, purchasing a car or attending college.

    Full story:

    In an effort to improve the well-being of youth transitioning from foster care, a group of Hawaii partners established the Hawaii Youth Opportunities Initiative (HYOI). The initiative implements a broad set of strategies that include engaging young people, bringing together public and private partners, using data to drive decisions and galvanizing public support in order to improve policy and practice that supports former foster youth.

    A piece of this strategy was the creation of an Opportunity Passport™, which features an Individual Development Account (IDA), or a matched savings account offered by the Bank of Hawaii. The objective was to help participants learn financial management, obtain experience with the mainstream banking system and save money for assets. With the IDA, participants can make qualified withdrawals, such as starting a business, paying rent, purchasing a car or attending college.

    The program has already demonstrated positive results, with nearly 650 participants completing eight hours of financial literacy training and opening two bank savings accounts. Overall, participants have made $823,000 in asset purchases, averaging about $1,000 per qualified withdrawal.

    Bank of Hawaii has been instrumental in making HYOI a success. The bank has helped finance the program and played a key role in the introduction of the Voluntary Care to 21 bill, which enabled foster youth to stay with their foster families until age 21, subject to them attending school, working or being disabled.

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  2. Dupaco Community Credit Union

    Dupaco Community Credit Union

    Dubuque, Iowa

    Dupaco Community Credit Union

    Dupaco Community Credit Union

    FHLB Des Moines Members: Dupaco Community Credit Union

    Location: Dubuque, Iowa

    Population: 58,531

    The Need: The Washington Neighborhood is the oldest, most diverse and economically challenged neighborhood in Dubuque. It has experienced a series of stressors including absentee landlords and deteriorating buildings. This has resulted in an increase in crime and decline in property values.

    Key Players: Dupaco Community Credit Union, Gronen Restoration, HEART Program, Heritage Works, Northeast Iowa Community College, Opening Doors, and The Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA

    The Results: A key piece of the Washington Neighborhood revitalization effort was the founding of the Friends of St. Mary’s DBA Steeple Square 501c3 to repurpose the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church campus, which served as a neighborhood cornerstone for more than 100 years. In addition to breathing life into the neighborhood, the project will provide living wage jobs, supportive affordable housing, job training, education and community space.

    Full story:

    Following the loss of numerous manufacturing employers over the years, including the city’s largest employer, one of Dubuque’s oldest neighborhoods – the Washington Neighborhood - began to fall into decline. The poverty rate in the neighborhood exceeded 24% with the median family income that was approximately 53% of the national average. Then in 2010, the St. Mary’s parish closed its doors after more than 100 years of existence in the neighborhood. With the threat of demolition looming, a group of community leaders stepped in to save the historic and cultural icon and transform the site so it could once again serve the community.

    To combat the issue, the Friends of St. Mary’s DBA Steeple Square was founded in 2013 as a 501c3 to lead the transformational effort. Steeple Square hosted six community neighborhood engagement sessions and worked with community partners to develop a plan to turn the parish site into a neighborhood beacon.

    The project includes a vocational and job education space in partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College, 12 affordable supportive housing apartments, critically-needed childcare and green space. The multi-faceted project has become a hub of activity for an entire city block that is currently blighted and vacant.

    Dupaco Community Credit Union is a leader in the redevelopment project, with numerous employees serving on Steeple Square committees. Dupaco also made a significant financial investment in the capital campaign and have had employees providing contributions of both time and funding.

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  3. St. Louis Community Credit Union and Enterprise Bank and Trust

    St. Louis Community Credit Union and Enterprise Bank and Trust

    St. Louis, Missouri

    St. Louis Community Credit Union and Enterprise Bank and Trust

    St. Louis Community Credit Union and Enterprise Bank and Trust

    FHLB Des Moines Members: St. Louis Community Credit Union and Enterprise Bank and Trust

    Location: St. Louis, Missouri

    Population: 311,404

    The Need: Parts of the St. Louis region have seen poverty rates above 20% since 1960 and are rife with payday and title lenders who charge an average of 460% APR for short-term, small dollar loans.

    Key Players: Enterprise Bank& Trust, Prosperity Connection, St. Louis Community Credit Union and U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation

    The Results: The RedDough Money Center, which was created to help combat predatory lending, has closed on 895 loans for a total of $434,618 between March 2016 and June 2017 and has saved borrowers nearly $1 million in interest in fees. RedDough has also helped educate nearly 4,500 individuals on topics like credit, budgeting, home buying and more.

    Full story:

    In the United States, there are more payday lenders than McDonald’s and Starbucks, combined. A 2015 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation showed that 7% of households in the United States were unbanked, while an additional 19.9% were underbanked. In St. Louis, where the poverty levels in some areas have remained above 20% since 1960, predatory storefronts are charging an average of 460% APR for short-term, small dollar loans.

    In an effort to combat predatory lending and help families in the region find affordable lines of credit in times of need, FHLB Des Moines member financial institution, St. Louis Community Credit Union and its affiliate 501c3 non-profit, Prosperity Connection partnered to launch the RedDough Money Center. Owned and operated by Prosperity Connection, the RedDough Money Center offers an installment loan option at a lower APR, affordable money orders, direct deposit prepaid cards, check cashing, money transfers and bill pays.

    The RedDough Money Center currently operates out of two low-income areas in St. Louis with a neighboring St. Louis Community Credit Union branch at each location to provide access to financial services and free financial education and coaching.

    The project has had a profound impact in the St. Louis region, reaching borrowers from 45 unique zip codes who range in age from 21 to 77. With a monthly average income of $2,427, these borrowers have utilized the RedDough Money Center to close 895 loans for $434,618, a total estimated savings of nearly $1 million in interest and fees compared to the typical payday lender.

    St. Louis Community Credit Union has played a crucial role in the development of the RedDough Money Center and has contributed research, start-up capital and backend support for accounting and information technology. Fellow FHLB Des Moines member Enterprise Bank & Trust also facilitated a $500,000 line of credit to fund loans and other services utilized by customers.

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How to Apply

It's as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Download the Application

    Click here to download the application form.

  2. Fill out the application

    Please read the guidelines below to assist you with the application process:

    1. The Strong Communities Award is not a grant program to fund an idea or a project to launch. The award measures the impact, results and collaboration of a recently completed or existing project.
    2. Nominations are only accepted from FHLB Des Moines member institutions (click here to access the FHLB Des Moines membership directory).
    3. There is no maximum number of nominations a member may submit.
    4. The Strong Communities Award provides a $15,000 award to one rural winner and one urban winner. One runner-up in each category will receive $3,000.
    5. Rural projects must meet the following criteria:
      • The community that the project is located in must be eligible for the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Loan program (Click here to access the USDA mapping tool - use the business program requirements as a reference)
      • The FHLB Des Moines member and community partner(s) headquarters may be based within an urban area as long as the project is located in an eligible rural area.
      • Projects that do not meet the USDA Rural Development loan criteria above must be submitted as an urban project.
    6. Nominees may be individuals, public agencies, for-profit and/or not-for-profit organizations. The award may only be payable to the project or an economic development organization.
    7. Nominations should include the application form plus appropriate supplementary documents. Photos and video are encouraged. Please limit your overall application to five pages or less.
    8. Award announcements will be made in October 2017.

    Applications are due by August 11, 2017. Applications must be received by 4:30 PM CST on August 11.

  3. Submit your application

    There are two ways to submit your application:
    Email: Mitch Fastenau, mfastenau@fhlbdm.com

    OR

    Mail: 801 Walnut Street, Suite 200
    Des Moines, IA 50309
    Attn: Mitch Fastenau

How the Process Works

The 2017 Strong Communities Award is divided into two categories, urban and rural. An FHLB Des Moines member must submit the application and designate the appropriate category. At the conclusion of the application period, a scoring committee comprised of FHLB Des Moines representatives will determine finalists for both the urban and rural categories. The finalists in both categories will enter the final selection stage, which includes a voting component that is open to the public. The selection committee will include the public vote as one of the components in the final selection of the winners for each category.

Previous Finalists

  1. alaska-2016.jpg

    First National Bank Alaska, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Credit Union 1, Denali Federal Credit Union, Northrim Bank

    Anchorage, Alaska

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    FHLB Des Moines Members: First National Bank Alaska, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Credit Union 1, Denali Federal Credit Union, Northrim Bank

    Location: Anchorage, Alaska

    Population: 300,950

    The Need: Anchorage’s on-time high school graduation rate was below 60 percent in 2006, and a high school graduate will earn up to 74 percent more over a lifetime than a high school dropout.

    Key Players: The Anchorage community collaborated, bringing together over 40 nonprofits, public, private and faith sector partners. The United Way of Anchorage led the community initiative, called 90% by 2020.

    The Results: The project is nearing its goal to achieve and sustain, by year 2020, a 90 percent on-time high school graduation rate in Anchorage, with 80.2 percent in 2015. United Way of Anchorage, the Anchorage School District, and many community partners including First National Bank Alaska dug into the root causes that were preventing a higher rate of success for Alaskan students. The community is finding new ways to systematically address the challenges, connecting people to resources in order to improve the general quality of life in Anchorage.

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    Finance Factors and American Savings Bank

    Oahu, Hawaii

    american-savings-2016-lg.jpg

    FHLB Des Moines Members: Finance Factors and American Savings Bank

    Location: Oahu, Hawaii

    Population: 953,207

    The Need: Addressing youth unemployment through meaningful work experience in the “green jobs sector.”

    Key Players: Kupu, a nonprofit that engages youth in environmental service-learning and job readiness. Kupu’s program, Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC), engages youth and young adults aged 16-24 in hands-on service learning to help restore Hawaii’s natural resources & cultural assets. Finance Factors and American Savings Bank provided financial and in-kind support for the project.

    The Results: In 2015, Kupu's Hawai'i Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) team-based programs engaged 145 youth and young adults, in partnership with over 55 other community and land management organizations. These youth contributed a total of 30,740 volunteer hours to help protect and restore important natural and cultural resources. In return, Kupu distributed over $100,000 in educational awards to participating youth and enabled 13 students who had dropped out of high school to successfully earn their CBASE alternative high school degree, which qualifies them for jobs and continued education. In total, the economic benefit this program provided to the community in 2015 was over $3.5 million. Kupu's HYCC program is expected to exceed these numbers in 2016-2017 while working to change lives and empower future generations through hands-on professional development programs.

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    Pacific Continental Bank

    Clark County, Washington

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    FHLB Des Moines Member: Pacific Continental Bank

    Location: Clark County, Washington

    Population: 443,817

    The Need: The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) advocates for business-friendly issues at the state level. Over 95 percent of businesses in Vancouver, Washington have fewer than 50 employees — those small businesses employ more people than large businesses and fuel the local economy’s success and growth. Following the Great Recession, there was a need for recovering economic strength in the area and a need to lower unemployment.

    Key Players: The GVCC developed the Small Business Resource Center to assist in recovery efforts by local small businesses.

    The Results: Clark County’s unemployment rate sank from its peak of 13 percent to just six percent. Its job growth rate was also two percent higher than the national rate in February.

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    Community Bank and Trust, CBI Bank & Trust and First National Bank of Muscatine

    Muscatine, Iowa

    muscatine-2015-lg.jpg

    FHLB Des Moines Members: Community Bank and Trust, CBI Bank & Trust and First National Bank of Muscatine.

    Location: Muscatine, Iowa

    Population: 23,880

    The Need: The City of Muscatine was in need of a proactive approach to support and grow the foundation of a thriving community.

    Key Players: Three FHLB Des Moines member financial institutions, Community Bank and Trust, CBI Bank & Trust and First National Bank of Muscatine partnered with the City of Muscatine to revitalize the downtown business district through the Small Business Creation Project.

    The Results: Since the Muscatine Small Business Creation Project began in January 2015, 21 small businesses have received support, as well as the project directly assisting in the creation of 14 new businesses.

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    ProGrowth Bank, Cornerstone State Bank and The First National Bank of Fairfax

    10 rural cities and 17 townships across two counties in South Central Minnesota

    minnesota-2016-lg.jpg

    FHLB Des Moines Member: ProGrowth Bank, Cornerstone State Bank and The First National Bank of Fairfax

    Location: 10 rural cities and 17 townships across two counties in South Central Minnesota

    Population: ~15,000

    The Need: Communities were unable to have telecommunications providers invest in adequate internet service. 21st Century internet speed is something necessary for residents, businesses, schools, health care providers and agricultural providers.

    Key Players: RS Fiber Cooperative and three FHLB Des Moines members: ProGrowth Bank, Cornerstone State Bank and The First National Bank of Fairfax.

    The Results: The RS Fiber Cooperative is improving telecommunications for every household, business or agricultural provider in the area. The local cities’ fire departments, libraries and emergency services will also receive access to gigabit internet. The project will create 75 construction jobs and 11 full-time permanent jobs, with the potential for more jobs to be created due to access to high-speed internet infrastructure.

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    First Security Bank

    Bonner, Montana

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    FHLB Des Moines Member: First Security Bank

    Location: Bonner, Montana

    The Need: A once thriving plywood plant, in business from 1886 through 2008, needed to transition their community from abandoned mill-owned homes to a renewed, job-creating economic showcase in Western Montana.

    Key Players: Bonner Property Development, LLC, County of Missoula, First Security Bank

    The Results: While this project is in early stages, with many more opportunities for potential development, some businesses have had success in Bonner, Montana. Now, tenants that occupy the developed space provide over 200 jobs, as well as an additional 50 at the former mill site.

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    Bankers Trust, Bank of the West, Vision Bank and Wells Fargo Bank

    Des Moines, Iowa

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    FHLB Des Moines Member: Bankers Trust, Bank of the West, Vision Bank and Wells Fargo Bank

    Organization: Iowa Community Capital

    Location: Des Moines, Iowa

    Population: 569,633

    The Need: According to a study from American Express, Iowa has continually ranked 50th in the nation with respect to the growth in number and economic clout of women-owned firms.

    Key Players: Iowa Community Capital established the microfinance program Solidarity in 2014. The program makes capital available to low-income women entrepreneurs in the area and requires no collateral, business experience, credit history or written business plans to qualify. The program has a revolving loan pool of approximately $350,000. Bankers Trust took the lead in coordinating the project, has made $180,000 in payments and pledges and has teamed up with Bank of the West, Vision Bank and Wells Fargo to provide additional financial and technical support.

    The Results: In less than one year of operation, 55 low-income women have taken loans from Solidarity. Borrows have earned an average $200 per month on personal income and have created 1.5 new jobs as a result of their business activity.

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    Harborstone Credit Union, BECU, Verity Credit Union and On Point Credit Union

    Washington and Oregon

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    FHLB Des Moines Members: Harborstone Credit Union, BECU, Verity Credit Union and On Point Credit Union

    Organization: Business Impact NW

    Location: Washington and Oregon

    Population: N/A

    The Need: More than half of small business owners surveyed reported tightening lines of credit, discouraging many from seeking investment loans.

    Key Players: Harborstone Credit Union founded the nonprofit Business Impact NW to empower local economic growth through small and micro business lending. Business Impact NW also partners with BECU, Verity Credit Union and On Point Credit Union to provide lending capital to assist businesses in need. The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center, as well as Portland State University’s Business Outreach Program offers free consulting and business education services to entrepreneurs in need.

    The Results: Business Impact NW’s current programming is a year old and has served seven businesses through $350,000 in loans. This has supported the creation of 14 jobs and has resulted in an estimated $700,000 in direct economic growth.

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    Kitsap Bank

    Western Washington

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    FHLB Des Moines Member: Kitsap Bank

    Organization: edg3 FUND

    Location: Western Washington

    Population: N/A

    The Need: Many small businesses experience a funding gap and lack of structured resources to help grow their business.

    Key Players: Kitsap Bank created a small business competition called edg3 FUND to provide funding for entrepreneurs committed to growing the community. The competition awarded one company $20,000 and semifinalists with connections to other financing and business sources.

    The Results: More than 70 businesses in Western Washington applied for the inaugural competition in 2014. The competition attracted a variety of unique businesses and the committee honored 16 semifinalists and one winner. Pawzii, Inc., an online pet-licensing product, was named the winner and is currently working to develop additional technology, as well as scaling the business to a wider audience.

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    First Southeast Bank

    Harmony, Minnesota

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    FHLB Des Moines Members: First Southeast Bank

    Organization: Community & Economic Development Associates

    Location: Harmony, Minnesota

    Population: 1,007

    The Need: The community of Harmony faced the possibility of losing one of its major employers when Harmony Enterprises approached the local Economic Development Authority in need of additional space.

    Key Players: The Harmony Economic Development Authority and Community & Economic Development Associates put together a financial package consisting of funding from the State of Minnesota, City of Harmony and other local and state sources. First Southeast Bank also contributed a $1.2 million loan to assist with the expansion.

    The Results: Harmony Enterprises expanded its business operations in Harmony, retaining 59 full-time jobs and adding 14 full-time positions. The expansion also grew the City tax base by a projected $360,000 and led to improved public infrastructure.

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    Hawthorn Bank

    Jefferson City, Missouri

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    FHLB Des Moines Member: Hawthorn Bank

    Organization: Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce

    Location: Jefferson City, Missouri

    Population: 43,330

    The Need: In July 2013, R.R. Donnelly announced they would be closing their Jefferson City facility, laying off 475 employees and vacating a 650,000 square-foot building.

    Key Players: Community leaders came together to purchase the vacant facility and worked with the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce to create an economic development team consisting of local city, county, public schools, college and state officials. The community offered a ten-year tax abatement on personal property and the building, a $500,000 infrastructure grant and a $1.7 million up-front contribution to attract Continental Commercial Products to Jefferson City. Hawthorn Bank financed the initial purchase of the building by local leaders.

    The Results: Continental Commercial Products announced in April 2015 that it would it bring its operations to Jefferson City. The company has filled 50 positions and is expected to create another 150 jobs by the end of 2016.

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    First State Bank of Claremont

    Langford, South Dakota

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    FHLB Des Moines Member: First State Bank of Claremont

    Organization: Langford community leaders

    Location: Langford, South Dakota

    Population: 316

    The Need: The rural community of 316 residents had witnessed the loss and demolition of several Main Street businesses and needed a local gathering space to fill the void and provide a restaurant, retail opportunities, and community meeting area.

    Key Players: Eight community residents acting as local incorporators under the South Dakota Business Corporation Act, SDCL 47-1A developed the Langford Main Street Center, Inc. project for the creation of new business, job creation and gathering space. A local leadership team developed an extensive financial package that also included $250,000 construction financing and a $50,000 working capital line of credit from First State Bank of Claremont.

    The Results: After four years of planning, the community launched its Main Street Center in July 2015, which houses four new businesses, including a local restaurant and gathering space. The project has created and retained more than 40 jobs and has increased the city’s tax revenue.

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    Community Bank and Trust, Central State Bank and First National Bank of Muscatine

    Muscatine, Iowa

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    FHLB Des Moines Members: Community Bank and Trust, Central State Bank and First National Bank of Muscatine

    Organization: City of Muscatine City Council

    Location: Muscatine, Iowa

    Population: 23,034

    The Need: Areas of town that once thrived with business were in need of revitalization and new small businesses to fill vacant buildings.

    Key Players: The City of Muscatine City Council, Community Bank and Trust, Central State Bank and First National Bank of Muscatine partnered to support the Small Business Creation program in the community. The City of Muscatine offers forgivable loans for building improvements and startup costs while the three banks have committed to provide $1 million in low interest loans and to support small businesses with startup financing and guidance.

    The Results: Since the start of the program in January 2015, ten small businesses have received support from the Small Business Creation program. The program has directly assisted in the creation of seven new businesses and nearly 30 jobs.

FAQs

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Is the award part of the FHLB Des Moines Affordable Housing Products?

The Strong Communities Award is not part of the Banks Affordable Housing Products (i.e. Competitive Affordable Housing Program, Home$tart, Home$tart Plus, Native American Homeownership Initiative). For more information on these programs, please visit www.fhlbdm.com.

How does the award process work?

The 2017 Strong Communities Award is divided into two categories, urban and rural. Please see below for further clarification and definitions for both categories. An FHLB Des Moines member must submit the application and designate the appropriate category (click here to access the FHLB Des Moines membership directory). At the conclusion of the application period, a scoring committee comprised of FHLB Des Moines representatives will determine finalists for both the urban and rural categories. The finalists in both categories will enter the final selection stage, which includes a voting component that is open to the public. The selection committee will include the public vote as one of the components in the final selection of the winners for each category.

What criteria is used to determine if a project is urban or rural?

Rural projects must meet the following criteria:

  • The community that the project is located in must be eligible for the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Loan program (Click here to access the USDA mapping tool - use the business program requirements as a reference)
  • The FHLB Des Moines member and community partner(s) headquarters may be based within an urban area as long as the project is located in an eligible rural area.
  • Projects that do not meet the USDA Rural Development loan criteria above must be submitted as an urban project.
What do the winning projects and finalists receive?

Two winners, one urban and one rural, will each receive a $15,000 stipend to be used for the project or other community economic development needs. One runner-up finalist in each category will be awarded $3,000.

Can the project be located out-of-district?

The award must be located within the FHLB Des Moines district. Projects in Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming as well as the US territories of American Samoa and Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible for consideration.

What is the award timeline?

tentative timeline can be found below:

  • Applications are due on August 11, 2017 by 4:30 PM CST
  • Public voting period begins in mid-September, 2017
  • Public voting period closes at the end of September, 2017
  • Winners announced in early October, 2017
  • Recognition of winners in early October 2017
Will finalists receive promotional assistance?

All finalists are eligible for a $200 cooperative advertising reimbursement. FHLB Des Moines will also assist in the creation of press releases and other promotional materials as needed. For further information, please contact Mitch Fastenau, Senior Marketing Communications Specialist, FHLB Des Moines, at mfastenau@fhlbdm.com or 515.281.1069.