June 2015
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As Helen Keller famously said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.  I’d like to say I’m reminded of this notable quote each time I experience collaboration in process (I’m not),  but I’d like to.  Because it is so true.  We learn from each other, support each other and can make great things happen when like-minded people join forces.  Since no man is an island (John Donne – ok, enough with the quotes), is it any wonder that a reoccurring request heard from IASourceLink Resource Partners is for more opportunities to hang out with peers?

Taking our cue from this observation, the IASourceLink team is looking forward to once again hosting a series of regional Resource Partner lunches in various locations throughout the state.  It is my hope that many of you will join us this summer for some good food, information, and importantly, the opportunity to learn more about each other and the unique skills you bring to the table. 
The Resource Partner luncheons will be informal get-togethers where we can share discussion on questions such as:
  • What are some of the things your organization is doing to help support and promote entrepreneurship?
  • Do you have a small business success story you’d like to share with your peers?
  • What programs/initiatives have you tried that have worked – or didn’t work?
  • What are entrepreneurs sharing with you regarding future outlook or potential barriers to doing business?
  • How can IASourceLink provide more value to your organization?
In addition to peer sharing, we’ll provide you with an update on IASourceLink resources, as well as information on other relevant programs you can use to help your small business clients.  Be watching for logistics on dates and locations which will be coming your way soon.  And if there is a specific topic of interest you’d like to see discussed, please let me know.

Maybe Ms. Keller’s actual words don’t spring to mind when I’m working together with a group of innovative people, but the spirit behind her meaning rings true.  As an IASourceLink Resource Partner, you provide a skillset of support to businesses in your region.  An opportunity to share that expertise with peers and learn from others at the same time should never be missed!

-Amy Kuhlers, Program Manager and Network Builder, IEDA
By Debi Durham via Iowa Economic Development Authority
Last month, I was privileged to help honor several IASourceLink Resource Partners at the annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration.  Iowa is fortunate to be home to 51 designated Main Street communities – more than any other state in the nation. These communities are located in every corner of the state and range widely in population. 
The International Trade Office: Assisting Your Exporting Needs
By Kathy Hill via the IEDA International Trade Office
Did you know that Iowa’s manufactured products, agricultural products and various services were exported to more than 190 countries in 2014?  Did you know that trade supports more than 448,000 jobs in Iowa
Iowa Vendor Self Service: New Electronic Bidding System
By Kelly via Central Procurement Enterprise
To enhance supplier access to state procurement opportunities and facilitate online solicitation responses, the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has implemented Iowa Vendor Self Service (VSS). 

This new online bidding system replaces DAS eBid, and will feature bid opportunities posted by DAS Central Procurement Enterprise (DAS-CPE), Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities, the Department of Human Services (DHS), and Iowa Veterans Home (IVH). Bid opportunities for other state entities will be added as agencies enroll.
SEO: A Recipe For Success
By Jeff Carey via Blue Traffic Internet Marketing
Your business will benefit when you help search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo better understand your website. This is often referred to as search engine optimization, or SEO for short. And while many companies hire SEO professionals to improve their sites, there are plenty of changes you can make on your own to increase rankings and get more free traffic. 
Meet the Technology Association of Iowa!
By Patrick Quinn via TAI
The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) is the premier professional organization driving the success of the state's technology industry and tech-based economy.

Members include organizations of every size in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application and education in Iowa. But the majority of TAI is made up of businesses and leaders like you – small to medium size organizations working in technology or with strong ties to it.

Iowa's Public Innovation Funding Programs
By Adrienne Greenwald via Venture Net Iowa
So, you’re an Iowa based innovative technology company (in the areas of IT, advanced manufacturing or bio/life science) with proof of concept and a minimum viable product on the road to commercialization. What’s next? Well, if you’re looking to delve into fund raising, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has a handful of funding programs for entrepreneurs and small businesses who are looking to grow their business in Iowa. 
Grant Opportunities for Iowa Companies
By Jordan Hobfoll via Iowa Innovation Corporation
Do you have a novel, innovative idea to solve a problem in technology, energy, medicine, agriculture, transportation, education, or for the military?  If you do, one of 11 federal agencies might award up to $1.7 million in grant money to your for-profit company to develop the idea, and The Iowa Innovation Corporation can help you try to get it.  The money would come from a pool of over $2.6 billion in grants issued through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs each year.
Communication Got You Down At Work?
Try Some Empathy.

By Valyn Reinig
Being stressed out at work is not fun. Sometimes that stress can be caused by communicating, or miscommunicating, with coworkers. You might like to be more direct, but your coworker takes your directness as lack of support or consideration for their feelings. Constant miscommunication like this can lead to power distance between team members and can really start to impact the culture of a company if not recognized. But maybe there's something you can do about it; have you ever stopped and thought about how personalities relate to your communication at work? 
Will you need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) to operate your business?

You will need a FEIN if:
  • You are a sole proprietorship with employees or
  • Your business is a corporation or
  • Your business is a partnership or
  • You sell alcohol, firearms or tobacco or
  • You need to pay federal excise taxes
How to apply for a FEIN:
You can now apply for your FEIN online through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Website.  Or obtain the paper application for FEIN, by downloading form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number.
You do not need a FEIN if:
  • You are a sole proprietorship, but do not have employees and
  • You do not sell alcohol, firearms or tobacco and
  • You do not need to pay federal excise taxes
Please contact Christine Cavil at or 515.725.3122 for assistance in identifying licensing needs. You may also visit the Business License Information Center (BLIC) to perform a keyword search to locate your business license(s).
Iowa Sales/Use Tax Basics: Part 2
Terry O'Neill, Iowa Department of Revenue
Wednesday, July 22

Micro Loans: What Are They and How Do You Get One? 
Craig Downs, IowaMicroLoan
Wednesday, July 29

Selling to the Government
Pam Russenberger, ISU CIRAS
Thursday, August 13

Starting or Expanding a Business in Iowa
Amy Kuhlers & Terry O'Neill
Wednesday, August 26

June 25
Fair Play & Safe Workplaces Roundtable
West Des Moines, IA

July 13-15
SBIR Road Tour
Iowa City, IA

August 26-28
Iowa Downtown Summit
West Des Moines, IA

September 23-25
PDI Fall Conference
Mason City, IA
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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 University of Northern Iowa Center for Business Growth and Innovation.
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