OpenLoop Health Inc. plans to renovate several floors of the office building at 317 Sixth Ave. in Des Moines to expand its headquarters in Des Moines after being awarded forgivable and 0% loans from the Iowa Economic Development Authority on Friday. Photo contributed by the Polk County Assessor’s Office

The Iowa Economic Development Authority on Friday approved awards for three companies for projects that will result in $156 million in capital investment and create 579 jobs.

The largest award went to Upper Iowa Beef to expand the capacity of its processing plant in Lime Springs, in northeast Iowa’s Howard County. The IEDA board awarded more than $1.5 million in tax credits and refunds to the company, which plans an expansion of its plant and upgrades to areas of its current facility.

According to board documents, the company plans to create 172 jobs, 33 of which would pay a qualifying wage of $23.53 per hour. Upper Iowa Beef would also receive a five-year, 100% tax increment financing benefit from Lime Springs, documents show.

The board also approved $1.2 million in tax credits and refunds for International Paper Co. in Cedar Rapids.

The company plans to build a new steam plant, which will include the construction of a 48,500-square-foot building, the installation of two new boilers and the addition of a natural gas line to the building.

According to board documents, the company’s mill in Cedar Rapids, where it makes corrugated packaging and cellulose fibers, buys steam from Alliant Energy’s Prairie Creek generating station, but beginning in 2026, Alliant will no longer be burning coal at Prairie Creek and International Paper will lose its steam supply from the energy company. The company’s plan will provide steam to continue its operation at the Cedar Rapids site.

The project will create seven jobs that pay a qualifying wage of $30.24 per hour.

OpenLoop Health Inc. was awarded $500,000 in forgivable and 0% loans to expand its headquarters in downtown Des Moines.

The company, which provides a platform for digital health operations, plans to lease and renovate additional floors of a 40,000-square-foot building where it is located to accommodate its growth. The project is expected to create 400 jobs, 60 of which will pay a qualifying wage of $34.25 per hour.

In other action, the IEDA board approved awards to three startups:

  • Above Par Tech of Iowa, based in Clive, received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market and competitive analysis and other activities. The company makes custom GPS sprayers for golf courses.


  • Cavergence in Cedar Rapids was awarded a $50,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance loan for market and customer analysis and other activities. The company develops software for construction project management.


  • Classroom Clinic in Carroll was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market planning and other activities. The company provides school districts with access to children’s mental health services.