MUSCATINE, Iowa–Whether starting, maintaining, or growing a business, owners know it takes a lot of information and support to keep a company successful. The Iowa Center for Economic Success hopes to help provide some of the assistance and education business owners need to thrive. With its new satellite office open inside Loper Hall at Muscatine Community College, located at 152 Colorado Street in Muscatine, Client Services Coordinator Jordan Lloyd urges business owners in all stages of operation to reach out to her to discover all the Center has to offer.
Originally founded in Des Moines, the Iowa Center for Economic Success has had longtime connections to Muscatine, as Richard Stanley served on its board. Through collaboration with the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, Muscatine Community College, and an Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation grant worth $295,000 over the next three years, the center will test out having an additional location in Muscatine to assist business owners in eastern Iowa.
Lloyd explained that the Center focuses on several areas of support for business owners, including education, access to capital, and networking opportunities. The Center strives to make sure business owners have the skills they need to keep their businesses successful. Currently, they provide a variety of virtual classes as well as one-to-one virtual mentoring. As the Center grows more established in Muscatine, they plan to offer in-person options as well.
For businesses looking to get started or to expand, the Center can offer microloans as well as partnership loans through area banks. To help owners successfully manage their debt and use it for growth, the Center has all loan recipients complete their Always Ready Financial Course to prepare them both for the immediate requirements of having a loan, as well as the financial demands business owners should always have the resources to meet in order to keep their businesses running smoothly.
To complement their in-house services, the Iowa Center for Economic Success makes a point of allying with other local organizations to provide additional support and networking services for the clients they work with. Lloyd encourages business owners to watch for networking events coming soon.
As the Iowa Center for Economic Success gets established in Muscatine, Lloyd hopes, “anyone who owns a small business themselves or who has a hobby that their biggest dream is to make it a business,” will reach out to her by email to see how the Center can assist them. In the interest of bolstering their networking options, Lloyd welcomes people who would like to volunteer or work with the Center to contact her as well.
By serving as their liaison, Lloyd feels excited to bring these new opportunities to the Muscatine area. She knows the community will benefit from additional opportunities and the community in turn will help the center thrive. “It’s a great community and I love getting to be a part of it, and what makes it really great is that it really gets behind things,” Lloyd enthused.