Federal Recovery Act jumpstarts a "Jumpin'" business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Federal Recovery Act jumpstarts a "Jumpin'" business

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Even with budget concerns, Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy of Dubuque says job creation and economic growth are priorities. Some local business owners credit government assistance with the ability to prosper during the recession.

When Melissa Turner and her husband opened Jumpin' Janes in April, it was a dream come true. Turner says she gets to spend more time with family and have fun at work. Turner previously worked at a law firm and her husband was in construction.

"I went from a law firm, where I managed a law firm; heels, nylons, suits everyday. Now, I don't wear shoes!" Turner said.

The idea for the family playplace that includes giant inflatable toys, air hockey, and even a big television and comfy chairs for parents, came after Turner wanted something for kids to do, especially in the winter.

"I had a seven year old who had a birthday in Dubuque in February; nothing to do. We went bowling with an 18 month old, a three year old, and a seven year old, and lasted about 20 minutes. I went home, started looking for franchises on the computer, and a year later, we were open," Turner said.

The couple says they couldn't have done it without government help. In this case, it came in the form of Small Business Administration fund guarantees through the Federal Recovery Act. Its something a lot of small businesses with not a lot of collateral have taken advantage of.

"There's a lot of great ideas that don't have the inventory to sell off if the business fails, like if my business failed, I don't have a lot of inventory. I have a lot of space, but not a lot of inventory."

When banks see an SBA guarantee, officials say they're more likely to grant loans because the risk is lower for lenders and borrowers. Legislators say those loans eventually create jobs.

"That's what you see here at Jumpin' Janes. By putting more money into small business loan guarantees, it allows business owners to take risks and create jobs," Congressman Bruce Braley said on a visit to Jumpin' Janes.

20 people work at Jumpin' Janes, and owners are looking at opening a second location, also with Recovery Act help.

To date, Braley's office reports Dubuque County has received more than $5 million in Recovery Act Funds.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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