Challenge Grant

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The Challenge Grant application will be open June 26, 2023, please apply to the local app here.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Main Street Iowa annually award Challenge Grants which benefit local improvement projects, including upper story renovations, movie theater restoration and expansions, restaurant start-ups and improvements, critical building stabilization, and façade restoration and upgrades.

The Challenge grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of main streets and these projects demonstrate the ongoing commitment the people of our state have to keeping our downtowns vibrant, which helps attract new visitors, residents and businesses. Washington has been fortunate to have received four Challenge Grants since 2008 including Bodywrx, the Triune Building, the Night Suites at Cafe Dodici, and the Frontier Family Restaurant

Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash match up to a $100,000 grant and in total projects annually leverage more than nine times the state’s investment into bricks-and-mortar rehabilitation that will have a significant economic impact within each district.

The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Since the first appropriation in 2002, approximately $9.6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged more than $57 million in private investment. Over the life of the program, 165 projects in 53 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.

For more information about the Challenge Grants, please contact Samantha (contact info below).