Building a Better Cedar Valley

UNI Business & Community Services (BCS) is excited to announce that we have received the 2018 Cedar Valley Partner Award from the Cedar Valley Alliance! We are so grateful for this recognition. The Cedar Valley is our home, and we are proud to continue to serve this community in the areas of small business and entrepreneurship, community and local development, and environment and sustainability.


Our main goal at BCS is statewide outreach, but would not be possible without local support. For the past 18 years, we have been serving all 99 Iowa counties with programming started right here in the Cedar Valley. We are proud to work with Iowa businesses, entrepreneurs, communities, and governments. To learn more about our outreach, check out this video:



BCS has and will continue to serve the Cedar Valley community and celebrate our longtime partnership. Here are just some of the ways BCS has made an impact on the Cedar Valley over the years:



The Metal Casting Center (MCC) served as a leader in growing Iowa’s position in additive manufacturing research, development and direct company assistance. UNI’s Metal Casting Center received one of the first Strategic Infrastructure Grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to substantially expand service to small- and medium-sized businesses across the state.  Additional 3D sand mold printing services and R&D were added, and a new design lab opened at TechWorks in Waterloo in partnership with Hawkeye Community College.


Waste Reduction

The Iowa Green Brewery Certification (IGBC) launched in 2016, and since then has been working to help craft breweries in Iowa benchmark their environmental and sustainability efforts. In 2017, the IGBC received the Commitment to Iowa Award from the Iowa Recycling Association. Since the program’s inception, 6 breweries have been certified. This includes both the Waterloo and Cedar Falls SingleSpeed locations.


Economic Development

The Institute for Decision Making (IDM) and the Center for Business Growth and Innovation developed the Small Business Opportunity Toolbox (SBOX) to assist community and economic developers in doing retention and expansion programming. The SBOX program was rolled out in North Waterloo with assistance from the City of Waterloo, ReNew Waterloo and the Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber. A core response team made 112 visits to local businesses, reaching 57 business owners. Fourteen businesses are moving forward with one-to-one counseling.