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Small Business

One of the questions I am asked most often is how do I start a business. The federal government, the State of Iowa and various small business organizations have many resources available to make starting a business easier.

ADA Project

If you are building or remodeling your business and have questions about making your facility handicap accessible, the ADA Project can help answer your questions. 1-800-949-4232

Center for Veterans Enterprise

If you are a veteran the Center for Veterans Enterprise may be able to assist you.

Institute of Social and Economic Development

The Institute of Social and Economic Development through their Small Business Training program provides in-depth business training and technical assistance to help entrepreneurs start, expand, or build their businesses.

Internal Revenue Service

Most of the IRS forms and publications are available online. The agency has also put on compact disc a Small Business Resource Guide. If you would like a copy of this guide, please call any of my offices.

Internal Revenue Service
IRS Des Moines Office
210 Walnut St
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 564-6618
Website: www.irs.gov/businesses/index.html

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal agency that works primarily with small businesses. The SBA can offer you advice in how to start a business, how to finance it, as well as how to managing it. The agency can also provide guidance to businesses wanting government contracts. Additionally, the SBA offers businesses low interest loans when they have been impacted by a nationally declared disaster.

The SBA has two offices in Iowa, or you can visit their website for more details on the programs they offer.

SBA, Cedar Rapids
2750 1st Avenue, NE, Suite 350
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4831
Website: www.sba.gov/localresources/district/ia/cedar/index.html

SBA, Des Moines
210 Walnut, Room 749
Des Moines, IA 50309
Website: www.sba.gov/localresources/district/ia/desmo/index.html

SBA Website Links:
2009 Recovery Act & the SBA
FAQ Section

Small Business Development Centers

In addition, the SBA sponsors several Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). The SBDC can provide management assistance to existing and future small business owners. The SBDC program is a cooperative effort between the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments. To find the nearest SBDC please contact the Iowa SBDC below or visit the SBA website.

Iowa Small Business Development Center - State Headquarters
340 Gerdin Business Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-2030
Website: www.iowasbdc.org/about-the-ia-sbdc/contact-us.aspx


SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is in partnership with the SBA. SCORE is a non-profit dedicated to the education of entrepreneuers. They provide 24/7 mentoring, low-cost workshops & How-to articles for small businesses.

You may visit the SCORE website for more information on their resources: VIEW. Alternatively you may contact them at the addresses & telephone numbers below.

SCORE Association
409 3rd Street, SW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20024

SCORE Association
1175 Herndon Pkwy., Suite 900
Herndon, VA 20170
Phone 1-800-634-0245 or 703-487-3612
Fax: 703-487-3066

Venture Capitol Sources

Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) - Sponsored by the SBA the SBIC program is a private-public partnership to help fill the venture capital needs of small businesses. SBICs are privately owned investment firms that provide capital plus funds borrowed at favorable rates with an SBA guarantee. For a list of SBICs in Iowa view their website.

State of Iowa

The State of Iowa offers a variety of programs to help small business. The Department of Economic Development is the source of these programs. Some of those programs are listed below. For a more complete listing please go to their website.

Targeted Small Business Financial Assistance Program - Helps with the creation and expansion of minority- or women-owned businesses through direct loans of up to $25,000 and loan guarantees of up to $40,000.

Assistive Device Tax Credit - Qualified Iowa small businesses can reduce their state taxes by buying or renting products or equipment, or by making physical changes to the workplace to help employees with disabilities get or keep a job.

Entrepreneurial Ventures Assistance (EVA) - Provides financial and technical assistance to eligible early-stage technology companies.

You may contact the Iowa Department of Economic Development at the address below:

Iowa Department of Economic Development
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 242-4700
Website: www.iowalifechanging.com/Business/

Iowa Procurement Technical Assistance Program

The Iowa Procurement Technical Assistance Program provides marketing and technical assistance to Iowa companies that want to provide goods and services to federal, state or local governments. For more information contact:

Iowa State University PTAC
2272 Howe Hall, Suite 2620
Ames, IA 50011
ciras.info AT iastate.edu

US Department of Agriculture

If you are establishing your business in a community under 20,000 in population, you may be able to receive a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program.

The Rural Development programs include:

  • Business & Industrial Guaranteed Loan Program
  • Intermediary Re-lending Loan Program
  • Rural Business Enterprise Grants
  • Rural Economic Development Loan Program
  • Rural Economic Development Grant Program

You may contact the local Iowa Rural Development Office at the address below.

USDA Rural Development - Des Moines Office
210 Walnut St
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 284-4663
Website: www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia/

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a Small Business Office which encourages the use of small, disadvantaged and women-owned businesses as federal contractors. The toll free number is 1-877-99OSDBU.

US Department of Commerce

The International Trade Administration can help answer your exporting and importing questions. The ITA does have an office in Iowa at:

US Export Assistance Center
700 Locust Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309-3739
Des.moines.office.box AT mail.doc.gov
Website: www.buyusa.gov/midwest/

The Department of Commerce also has a Minority Business Development Agency which helps in the creation, growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses.