Guest Columnists

Celebrating Iowa's small businesses

Paul Pate is Iowa's secretary of state.
Paul Pate is Iowa's secretary of state.

The celebration of small business and entrepreneurship in Iowa never stops. My office serves as the business portal for the state of Iowa. We recognize and promote small business success stories all year long. Small business is the backbone of Iowa’s economy. We want to help businesses grow and assist those with an entrepreneurial spirit in achieving their dreams.

It is obvious that Iowa’s entrepreneurial spirit is running high. Last year, my office processed more than 20,000 new business filings, a record high. There are almost 225,000 active business entities registered with the state. I believe those are very positive economic indicators for Iowa.

My goal is to operate the Secretary of State’s Office at the speed of business, not the speed of government. The state of Iowa is committed to seeing business thrive in Iowa. Almost half of Iowa’s workforce comes from small business employees and 78 percent of new jobs are created by family businesses.

We are proud to work with Iowa’s Small Business Development Centers and the Small Business Administration in promoting small businesses and helping entrepreneurs get started. They are valuable resources for anyone looking to launch their own business.

Each week, my office highlights an Iowa small business on our social media pages with a #SmallBizSalute.

We have heard some amazing stories from business leaders about how they got started, obstacles they overcame, and advice for other entrepreneurs.

We heard family-bonding stories, like the mother, daughter and friend who formed a business partnership out of their mutual love of coffee and created Heartland Coffee Co. in Correctionville.


We heard inspirational stories, like Kerri Rush’s, who launched Fresh Café & Market in Clive after switching to a healthier diet helped her mom survive a battle with cancer.

We heard impactful stories like the young men from New Sharon who launched Swine Tech, an agricultural company that is making a major impact in reducing the deaths of piglets.

We’re always looking for more stories like these. If you or someone you know runs a small business that you believe is worthy of statewide recognition, please send an email to

Sharing success stories from Iowa’s entrepreneurs will help others achieve their goals. Together, that will make the whole state stronger. We will continue to work toward making Iowa one of the most business-friendly states in the nation.

• Paul Pate is Iowa’s secretary of state.



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