business development Business Climate

When your business succeeds, the Greater Dubuque region succeeds.

Data and information about the business climate that can be used to identify trends and develop policy for future economic enhancement in the Greater Dubuque region.

Connect with our Business Development Team

Rick Dickinson

Rick Dickinson

President & CEO Email Rick
Jason White

Jason White

Vice President of Business Services Email Jason
Daniel McDonald

Daniel McDonald

Director of Existing Business Email Daniel

Access to Markets

A central location, connected to the world.

The Greater Dubuque area commands a central North American location in the heart of the Midwest, a convenient distance from major urban areas and large consumer markets.

Its many transit and shipping options, including 4-lane connections, rail service, local and regional commercial airports, and Mississippi River barge harbor service. Our location makes it easy to get your product to market.

Major Roadways

The Greater Dubuque area is connected to U.S. Interstates 80 and 90 via four-lane U.S. Highway 61, and to U.S. Interstate 35 via four-lane U.S. Highway 20. Dubuque also has access to Interstate 380 (Cedar Rapids, IA) and Interstates 39 and 94 (Madison, WI) via four-lane U.S. Highway 151.

Air Service

The Dubuque Regional Airport serves the Greater Dubuque area with commercial service on Avelo Airlines to Orlando, Florida.

In the summer of 2016, the Dubuque Regional Airport completed a $37 million new terminal project. This project provides the airport the capacity to house multiple airlines, if needed, provide additional parking, and offer an improved experience to business travelers.

Dubuque Regional Airport
10965 Aviation Drive
Dubuque IA 52003


O'Hare International Airport
10000 West O'Hare
Chicago IL 60666

The Greater Dubuque area is also located within an easy 90-minute drive of the Quad City International Airport (Moline, IL), The Eastern Iowa Airport (Cedar Rapids, IA), the Dane County Regional Airport (Madison, WI), and the Chicago Rockford International Airport (Rockford, IL), all of which offer connections to major hubs such as Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, New York, Newark, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa, and Los Angeles.

Quad City International Airport
2200 69th Avenue
Moline IL 61265


The Eastern Iowa Airport
2121 Arthur Collins Parkway SW
Cedar Rapids IA 52404


Dane County Regional Airport
4000 International Lane
Madison, WI 53704


Chicago Rockford International Airport
60 Airport Drive
Rockford, IL 61109

Rail Service

The Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp. (IC&E) operates the rail line along the Mississippi River. With tracks that run north/south through Dubuque with daily switching service. The Canadian National/Illinois Central (CN/IC) offers intermodal facilities and daily switching service in Dubuque.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company (BNSF) operates a line across the Mississippi River from Dubuque and serves the Dubuque area via trackage rights over another railroad.

To learn more about Iowa's railways, visit the Iowa Department of Transportation's Office of Rail Transportation Website.

Barge Service

Dubuque is strategically located adjacent to the Mississippi River, offering area industries the advantage of barge transportation. Barges provide a low-cost, important means of shipment for coal, grain, fuel, chemicals, iron, steel, and more.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers maintains a 9-foot shipping channel and manages the series of locks and dams between St. Paul, MN, and St. Louis, MO. Lock and Dam #11 is located at Dubuque. Eight river terminals in Dubuque and two fleeting/harbor services provide navigational assistance to the barge industry.

To learn more about barge service in our region, visit the US Army Corps of Engineers – Rock Island District Website.

City Distance (in miles) Distance (in kilometers)
Quad Cities, IA 70 113
Cedar Rapids, IA 70 113
Madison, WI 90 145
Waterloo, IA 91 146
Rockford, IL 94 151
Peoria, IL 168 070
Milwaukee, WI 171 275
Chicago, IL 183 295
Des Moines, IA 189 304
Twin Cities, MN 260 418
St. Louis, MO 310 499
Omaha, NE 320 515
Kansas City, MO 393 634

Business Taxes

A highly-competitive tax policy that favors growth.

The state of Iowa wants business to succeed. That’s why the state has developed a tax code that favors businesses who locate here with special advantages over other locations.

Single-factor, nonunitary tax

Iowa's corporate income tax is a single-factor, nonunitary tax based only on the percentage of total sales income within the state. For example, an Iowa manufacturer selling all its products outside Iowa pays no Iowa corporate income tax.

Federal Deductibility

Iowa is one of only five states that offers federal deductibility. This allows businesses to deduct 50 percent of federal taxes from any Iowa Corporate Income Tax obligation.

State Tax Advantages

Iowa offers many tax advantages, including but not limited to:

  • No sales or use tax on industrial machinery/equipment/computers used for manufacturing
  • No sales tax on purchases of electricity or natural gas used in the manufacturing process
  • No sales or use tax on computers/peripherals used in the processing or storage of data
  • No property tax on manufacturing machinery/equipment/computers
  • No tax assessment on personal property (includes corporate inventories of salable goods, raw materials, and goods in process)
  • No sales tax on materials used in the manufacturing process

To view a state comparison of Iowa and our surrounding states, click here.

Local Tax Rates

For 2023-2024, the City of Dubuque property tax levy is $9.90135 per $1,000 as of July 2023, taxable valuation. Additional levies include school district, area school, and county for a total levy of $31.55253.

Unemployment Insurance Rates

Iowa has one of the lowest new employer unemployment insurance rates in the nation. The 2021 standard new employer rate for all non-construction businesses for a three-year period is 1.0 percent on a $32,400 wage base.

Worker's Compensation Rates

Iowa's worker's compensation costs are among the nation's lowest. The average worker's compensation insurance cost in Iowa is 16 percent lower than the national average. Under Iowa law, the employer has the right to choose the physician and medical care for employees injured at work.


Business can’t run without the utilities that power innovation and output.

That’s why our providers employ state-of-the-art services that take energy and communications into the twenty-first century.

Waste Water

Dubuque’s Water & Resource Recovery Center invested $65-million to upgrade the city’s wastewater capacity. The new facility features more efficient and sustainable treatment methods, reduced operational and maintenance costs, and a smaller carbon footprint.

The City of Dubuque Waste Water system provides:

  • BOD design capacity of 36,900 lbs per day, usage is 21,000 lb per day, available capacity is 15,900 lb per day
  • TSS design capacity of 29,400 lbs per day, usage is 19,000 lbs per day, available capacity is 10,400 lb per day
  • Waste water treatment design capacity of 12 million gallons per day, usage is 8 million gallons per day, available capacity is 4 million gallons per day

In event of a power failure, the plant and all major pumping stations have backup generators that start automatically. All pumping stations have at least one and sometimes two pumps as backups.


The City of Dubuque Water system furnishes an abundant water supply. Supply is pulled from five shallow and four deep wells. Water is supplied by the Jordan and Mt. Simon Aquifers. Both the United States Geological Survey and Iowa Department of National Resources have concluded that there area no threats or issues pertaining to the Jordan aquifer's ability to meet the water demand needs for the City of Dubuque. Therefore, Dubuque is no a Protected Water Source Area. The treatment facility uses chlorination, fluoridation, filtration, and lime softening processes to exceed with all federal and state primary drinking water standards.

The City of Dubuque Water system provides:

  • Design capacity of 18 Million gallons per day
  • General demand of 6.6 Million gallons per day
  • Peak demand of 9.2 Million gallons per day
  • Available capacity of 8.8 Million gallons per day during peak periods, 11.6 Million gallons during general demand
  • Storage capacity of 18 Million gallons per day for usage & fire demand

City-owned Industrial Parks are supplied with two (2) 16" water lines throughout that form a loop system for redundancy. Electricity to the water plant is supplied from two separate power grids for redundancy and there are backup generators on site.

Two separate water sources provide water to the industrial park and are interconnected. The 16" water main on the south is supplied by 1.25 million gallon water tower on the Northwest Arterial, and the 12" water main on the north is supplied by the 3 million gallon water tower on Pennsylvania Avenue. These systems are separate. If for some reason one is interrupted, the other is continuously available.


Two main providers service the Greater Dubuque area with competitive and reliable electric energy: Alliant Energy and Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative.

Alliant Energy

Within the Dubuque Industrial Center West & South, Alliant Energy provides:

  • Three phase power on a looped system which is serviced by two separate sub-stations
  • Primary-Voltage-KV is 13.8 kv

Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative

Within the Dubuque Industrial Center South, Maquoketa Valley Electric provides:

  • Three phase power on a looped system
  • Primary-Voltage-KV is 12.5 kv

Natural Gas

The Greater Dubuque area is served by Black Hills Energy Corp for its natural gas service.

Within the Dubuque Industrial Center West & South, Black Hills Energy provides:

  • An 8 inch main line
  • A pressure of 250 psi


State-of-art telecommunications capacity and services are in place throughout the Greater Dubuque area with multiple providers of fiber optics and telephony services. The City of Dubuque and communications providers have formed unique partnerships to increase services and reduce costs to area businesses.

Providers of telecommunications in our area include:

Renewable Energy

As a White House Climate Champion Community, Dubuque can also offer access to renewable energy resources and services ranging from solar to biogas. The Greater Dubuque area has a host of public and private programs available to business to improve their energy efficiency.

Solar Providers in our area:

Existing business support

We know our greatest asset is the vibrant businesses that already call the Greater Dubuque region home.

Retaining and supporting these employers is paramount to our broader mission. These efforts are supported by InfoAction, a long-standing, award-winning program that gathers actionable data and allows us to maximize opportunities for our regional businesses.

A deep connection to local business

Every year, the Greater Dubuque Development team conducts face-to-face interviews with more than 250 area business owners, CEOs, and top managers.

By learning more about our employers, we can offer targeted services that help them expand, recruit workers, train employees, obtain financing, and manage their supply chains.

Your business can be great here – and we take concrete steps to maintain that excellence and keep our community moving forward.

View recent findings from InfoAction:

Connect with our Existing Business Team

Jason White

Jason White

Vice President of Business Services Email Jason
Daniel McDonald

Daniel McDonald

Director of Existing Business Email Daniel