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The Greater Des Moines Partnership said today that it has launched an online economic development tool to help small business owners and entrepreneurs find resources via a “one-stop shop.”

Central Iowa Sourcelink went live on the Internet today. It provides small businesses with assistance information online or it will direct them to community partners and programs that help entrepreneurs start, sustain and grow their businesses, according to a news release.

“As part of our goal to promote economic development within Greater Des Moines, the Partnership wants to provide the small businesses of Central Iowa with resources that help enable growth and prosperity,” Partnership CEO Jay Byers said in the news release.

The organization led the development of the Internet resource in response to a recommendation included in the Capital Crossroads regional economic development vision plan that was announced in September. Byers is a member of the Capital Crossroads coordinating committee.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) also said today that it has contracted with SourceLink to take the program statewide this fall.

During a press conference Wednesday, Byers said the Partnership paid SourceLink $50,000 in an initial contract and will subsequently pay a $10,000 annual renewal fee. The state paid $75,000 from its marketing budget to join SourceLink and will pay $15,000 annually for the service. 

Byers said he views the resource as “complementary” to the Startup Iowa www.startupia.org portal for  startup companies launched in December 2011, with SourceLink being an initial information stop and Startup Iowa providing more intensive assistance for start-up companies.
U.S. SourceLink is the country’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs, providing a source of business start-up and growth information through 20 networks. Its founders include the Kauffman Foundation, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Small Business Administration.

To tap into the network, go to www.cisourcelink.com.

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