Marshall Economic Development  

Marshalltown, Iowa

Feature written in July, 2019

FHLB Des Moines Member: Farmers Savings Bank

On July 19, 2018, Marshalltown Iowa was devastated by an EF3 tornado in the downtown business district and surrounding residential areas.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado developed northwest of Marshalltown, traveled southeast on the western side of the Iowa River, creating extensive crop and tree damage. From there, the tornado strengthened quickly and entered northwest Marshalltown producing widespread EF1 and EF2 damage. By the time it hit the business district, EF2 and EF3 damages were incurred to many structures, including the county courthouse which lost the spire of the clock tower. The tornado caused EF3 damage to housing areas through the Lennox plant on the east side of town. The tornado weakened and dissipated east of the power plant and produced 22 injuries.

“An estimated 2,200 (48%) of all parcels in the impacted area were affected. Two of our major employers JBS and Lennox were impacted by the tornado along with many of the employees who work in the facilities,” stated city officials.

All damage occurred in less than 30 minutes.

In response, FHLB Des Moines member Farmers Savings Bank in Marshalltown and Marshall Economic Development (MED) collaborated to create and implement an interest-free loan deferred-payment micro-loan program to small businesses affected by physical damage and business interruption from the tornado.

Farmers Savings Bank is servicing approved micro-loans at no cost to the applicant or funding organizations.

“In the hours and days following July 19’s tornado, the citizens of Marshalltown and Marshall County have made me proud,” said Tom Deimerly, Executive Director of MED. “We have shown our community brand to be that of true volunteerism, collaboration, and giving back to our community.”

Without over 3,000 businesses and service providers from sole proprietors to national entities like Lennox Industries and Emerson, the community is considered to be a regional micropolitan hub for industry, employment and more.

The diverse community is also the site for the Iowa Veterans Home and medical service providers which provide health and care services to thousands of central Iowa residents.

“Many have stepped up to help out neighbors, clean up streets and neighborhoods, serve others, provide resources, hand out food and supplies, provide shelter, and on and on. We have been there physically and emotionally for each other. I can’t think of a better testament to our community brand,” Deimerly said.

In order to be provided with these micro-loans, businesses and building owners must have defined financial impact from the store and a definitive plan for continuing business operations in the future. Eligible businesses applied within a 6-month period and could receive up to $10,000 at no interest payable over seven years with a two-year deferred payment period.

Twenty-one businesses were approved for the micro-loan program, totaling $195,360. Approved businesses included restaurants, grocery, retail, automatic service and construction, and the proceeds were used to recover the following types of losses:

  • Building damage,
  • Inventory loss,
  • Equipment damage or loss,
  • Furniture & fixture damage,
  • Damage to mechanicals,
  • Interior damage,
  • Loss of sales during closure,
  • Loss of sales during relocation,
  • Loss of tools, and
  • Reduced customer traffic during storm clean up or repair of neighboring buildings.

An approximated 120 jobs were retained as a result of the continued operations. Recipients of the micro-loans documented more than $3.6 million in damages.


Farmers Savings Bank