See Shelby County Business Financing for funding & grant sources.
Business Plan Assistance
This file, separated into two parts, is a resource guide directed in helping upcoming businesses write their own business plans, in order to organize and manage their operations. Download the Business Plan Template.
Click Here to Download Part 1
Click Here to Download Part 2
Business Plan Templates
Labor Shed Study
Also available for download is the Labor Shed Study file, which is used to understand the existing local labor markets, which is then used to make informed business decisions based on site selection locations.
Current Buildings and Sites Available
LocationOne Information System (LOIS) is an online database with up-to-date listings of the current business buildings and sites available for purchase or rent. Please follow the links below to access listings in Shelby County.
Click Here to See Available Buildings
Click Here to See Available Sites
Most often you find concierge services in expensive hotels. They are the individuals who can help you reserve the best restaurant in town and in the same breath explain which metro routes will quickly take you there. IASourceLink in partnership with MyEntre.Net is pleased to announce their newest service - the Business Concierge. The new Business Concierge will answer Iowans’ most pressing business questions via e-mail, online chat, and over the phone- all for free!
Specific services that Iowa small business owners can access include consumer mailing lists, expenditure data, demographic & psychographic profiles, in addition to competitor’s sales figures, industry trends, and national financial benchmarking metrics.
Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS)
Since 1963, CIRAS has been helping Iowa State University Extension and the College of Engineering carry out their land-grant university mission to improve the quality of life in Iowa by enhancing the performance of Iowa industry. Services provided include: Industry surveys, research, technology transfer, seminars, and technical assistance.
HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The program falls under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones - "HUBZones" - through the establishment of preferences.
SBA's HUBZone program is in line with the efforts of both the Administration and Congress to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities.
Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) is committed to the delivery of customized training and consulting services to area business, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development provides the various types of training sought by southwest Iowa business and industry. Services available include: Customized courses, instructional packages, training needs assessment, flexible scheduling to meet your operation or production schedule, training offered at your facility or at the IWCC campus or any of our outlying centers in Atlantic, Clarinda, Harlan or Shenandoah, experienced professional trainers, cost-effective and customer-oriented services, training in 5 core areas: health & safety, industrial/technical, management/supervision, computer skills, and basic skills.
Division of Economic & Workforce Development at IWCC
The Division of Economic and Workforce Development at Iowa Western Community College works with individuals, communities, and existing and emerging businesses in Shelby county providing services and programs they need to remain competitive and thrive. The division provides services in the areas of economic development, workforce development, and entrepreneurial development.
Entrepreneurial Education & Training
The goal in entrepreneurial education is to encourage, support and facilitate classroom experiences that enable young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. Iowa Western’s Entrepreneurial Center works with IWCC faculty to develop programs that introduce students to entrepreneurial processes through classroom instruction, internships, business consulting, and mentor relationships. They also have a working partnership with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa to provide an entrepreneurial experiential learning opportunity for students and entrepreneurial consulting services for businesses.
The IWCC Entrepreneurial Center offers free resources to help students on their path to becoming entrepreneurs. Some of the resources available include: sample business plans, free access to research databases, SBDC and SCORE counselors, financial reporting guidelines, and advertising and marketing support.
Industrial New Jobs Training (260E)
The INJTP provides training dollars from certificates sold by Iowa's community colleges. The certificates are paid for by the diversion of the new employees’ payroll withholding tax.
Training costs available include: Company and workforce assessment services and testing; adult basic education and workplace literacy; in-plant customized training; credit instructional courses; vendor training; on-the-job training; and contracted or professional services.
For a business to qualify, they must be new or expanding, engaged in manufacturing, processing or assembling products, or conducting research and development. Service businesses must be engaged in interstate commerce to be eligible.
IASourceLink is the premier online resource connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses to more than 360 resource providers across Iowa. IASourceLink is brought to you by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in collaboration with the Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) at the University of Northern Iowa.
Licensing Resources for Small Business
- Licensing and Assistance Resources
- Commonly Required Registrations
- Tax Requirements
- Requirements for Employers
- Frequently Requested Licensing contact Information
Iowa Jobs Training Program (260F)
Iowa Jobs Training Program provides forgivable loans to Iowa businesses to train existing workers. The purpose of the program is to help Iowa businesses become more competitive within their industries by providing them with the resources to maximize the skills and productivity of their workers.
A business qualifies if they are engaged in manufacturing, processing, warehousing, wholesaling, or conducting research and development. Service industries must serve customers outside of Iowa. Employees must be currently employed by the business and for whom the business pays withholding tax.
Any type of training that will benefit the company's competitive position and enhance the skills or knowledge of the workers to be trained is eligible. Eligible training costs include training equipment, materials, and supplies; college, company, or contracted training provider; and training-related travel.
Iowa Western Small Business Development Center
Iowa Western Community College’s entrepreneurial services include the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Council Bluffs SCORE chapter.
The two programs work together to actively promote entrepreneurial development throughout southwest Iowa. We support area entrepreneurs and student business ventures, raise public awareness about the vital role entrepreneurs play in economic development and stability, and create an educational environment that encourages entrepreneurial thinking at all levels.
The IWCC Small Business Development Center and Southwest Iowa SCORE chapter offers free one on one counseling and mentoring to small businesses and small business start ups. We pride ourselves on experienced experts that will help businesses at all levels. Topics we cover include: Business planning, marketing, internet presence and optimization, social media marketing, bookkeeping best practices, financing options and packaging, research, legal concerns, permit and license information and more.
Located adjacent to the Council Bluffs Airport, the IWCC E-Center offers a resource library, conference room, meeting space and a staff ready to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in opening or operating businesses in southwest Iowa.
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD)
IWD Region 13 serves Shelby County. You can complete an application on-line prior to submitting an application to the IWD office. Connect through the website posted above.
Senior Corp of Retired Executives – SCORE
These volunteers provide professional advice, guidance and mentoring. The chapter serving Shelby County is located at the IWCC Entrepreneurial Center, where they match the needs of small business owners with the business expertise of SCORE counselors.
State Data Center
The State Data Center of Iowa is your source for population, housing, business and government statistics about Iowa, including data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa state agencies, and other state and federal sources.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
SBDC offers assistance on writing a business plan, planning a marketing strategy, developing cash flow projections, doing market research, etc. Along with individual business consulting, regional business assistance centers also present affordable workshops that teach practical skills and techniques, conduct research, provide comprehensive information services, and offer access to subject matter experts in a variety of fields.
State of Iowa
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has numerous resources to assist startup and existing businesses. From financial assistance for starting your business and regulatory & compliance assistance to recruitment and hiring, IEDA’s full-service project staff can help connect you with the things you need. Use the following connections to access their resources.
Western Iowa Regents Resource Center (WIRRC)
Your link to Iowa's Regents Universities (University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, and The University of Iowa) - online or on campus.
Iowa's two Regents Resource Centers in Sioux City and Council Bluffs have joined forces to become the Western Iowa Regents Resource Center. Together, they offer a more unified approach to their common mission of providing increased access to Regents University services for all Western Iowa residents.