Best Small Business Resources in the Cedar Rapids Area

Small map with pin depicting Cedar Rapids, IA

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Iowa has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Cedar Rapids area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Iowa.

Resources Available in your Area

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is an economic and business development program embedded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Members of CRMEA participate in various networking events and roundtable series with experts and seasoned professionals in the field. In addition, members receive discounts on facility rental, exclusive advertising opportunities in CRMEA's e-magazine/newsletter, and connections to other local resources. CRMEA also hosts a variety of events, most of which are free and some of which are open to the general public.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

501 First St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
319-398-5317
economicalliance@cedarrapids.org


Cedar Rapids Public Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Research

Offers Free Service

Accepts Walks In

Description

The MICRO loan program at the Cedar Rapids Public Library provides microloans up to $10,000 for up to 3 years at 4% interest. Two librarians will help entrepreneurs write their business plans and connect entrepreneurs to experts and local resources for the next steps. There are also small business databases available at CRPL's website.

Restrictions

Applicants for the MICRO loan program must launch a business in Cedar Rapids. The small business databases require a library card for remote access.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

319-261-7323
info@crlibrary.org

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - THU: 9 am - 8 pm
FRI - SAT: 9 am - 5 pm

 

 


Cedar Rapids SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


Entrepreneur Development Center

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Description

The Entrepreneur Development Center is a community-sponsored business accelerator that helps startups through their seasoned, in-house expert mentorship program. They have a focus on interstate/international commerce businesses headquartered in Iowa. Access to the resources is limited to members only.

Restrictions

The services at EDC are limited to scalable, interstate commerce businesses.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

319-369-4955

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 8 am - 5 pm


Iowa Startup Accelerator

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Coworking

Description

Iowa startup accelerator is a 12-month program from NewBo.Co that invests in up to 10 tech startups each year, providing them with a strong mentorship network, coaching, educational panels, workshops, and other perks like the founder fireside chat. Ideal candidates are rooted in Iowa. Most accepted startups receive $20,000 in cash for 6% of the equity of the company and additional funding is available through other networks and resources.

Restrictions

Open to full-time entrepreneurs with scalable, technology-enabled business models in targeted sectors in Iowa like education, finance, healthcare, aging, food, manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

The Geonetric Building, 415 12th Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
319-382-5128
david@newbo.co


Kirkwood SBDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.


NewBo.Co (New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative)

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Coworking
  • Networking

Description

NewBo.Co is Iowa’s innovation headquarters where organizations partner to host a variety of programs and events about entrepreneurship. Iowa Startup Accelerator, Vault Coworking, DeltaV Coding School, and other regional events like 1 Million Cup, Aging 2.0, Power Ladies Lunch are all under their roof. Most of these events cost an entrance fee or require some kind of membership fee. NewBo.Co is also the overarching organization for Iowa Startup Accelerator.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

The Geonetric Building, 415 12th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
319-382-5128
eric@newbo.co

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 8 am - 5 pm