The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board has awarded tax benefits to two Iowa meat processing companies that plan to expand to help meet increasing demand for locally sourced products.

The board voted Friday to award benefits through the High Quality Jobs Program to Naeve Family Beef in Camanche and Edgewood Locker in Edgewood.

According to IEDA documents, building projects planned by the two companies represent more than $18.6 million in capital investment and create 63 jobs.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said increasing the capacity of the state’s small meat processing facilities will strengthen Iowa’s agricultural economy and boost the global food supply chain.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in Iowa’s meat processing supply chain, when the temporary closure of large-scale facilities drove both a backlog in market-ready livestock and demand for locally processed meat,” Reynolds said in a release announcing the awards.

Mike Naig, state agriculture secretary, said small meat processors are important to the state’s livestock producers and consumers.

“Projects like this one help increase market opportunities for family businesses while also strengthening our local supply chain,” Naig said.

Edgewood Locker, in Edgewood, a town of about 600 people in eastern Iowa’s Clayton and Delaware counties, was awarded just over $472,000 in tax benefits for its project. It also will receive Tax Increment Finance rebates from the city of Edgewood valued at $600,000 over 10 years.

The company’s expansion, a nearly $8.44 million investment, is expected to create 14 jobs at a qualifying age of $17.86 an hour, documents show.

Edgewood Locker provides beef and pork processing to livestock producers and manufactures meats for sale to wholesale and retail customers. The company plans to build a new facility to help quadruple its volume of wholesale business, increasing production of products such as jerky and sausage, documents show.

Naeve Family Beef, in Camanche eastern Iowa’s Clinton County, was awarded more than $664,000 in tax benefits. It will also receive a tax increment financing rebate of $306,000 over 10 years from the city of about 4,300 people.

The project, a more than $10.2 million capital investment, is expected to create 49 jobs, with 16 of those positions paying a qualifying wage of $17.57 an hour.

The company, a startup that sells directly to restaurants, distributors and consumers, plans to begin construction on a state-of-the art processing and packaging facility this spring.