Targeted Small Business

Targeted Small Business

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) helps Iowans achieve their business goals. The Targeted Small Business (TSB) program is designed to help women, individuals with minority status, service-connected disabled veterans and individuals with disabilities overcome some of the hurdles to start or grow a small business in Iowa. These programs not only support multiculturalism in Iowa, but grow and expand Iowa’s economy.

The Targeted Small Business (TSB) Assistance Program supports the creation and expansion of specified businesses. To qualify for the program, a business must be:

  • Operating for profit
  • Making annual gross sales of less than $4 million, computed as an average of the preceding three fiscal years
  • At least 51% owned, operated and managed by women, minorities or persons with disabilities

A business can receive “Targeted Small Business” certification through the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals or from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.

Forms of Assistance

  • Loans of up to $50,000 may be provided at interest rates of 0-5% that must be repaid in monthly installments over a five to seven year period. The first installment can be deferred for three months for a start-up business and one month for an existing business.
  • Loan guarantees are available in limited cases for lines of credit up to $50,000. Loan guarantees can cover up to 80% of a loan obtained from a bank or other conventional leader. Interest rates are at the discretion of the lender.
  • Equity grants may be available in amounts up to $50,000, but must be used to leverage SBA or conventional bank loans.
  • Applicant must be able to invest 10% cash of the total project cost. For example, if a loan of $30,000 is sought, the applicant must have $3,000 (10%) of his or her own cash.
  • TSB funds may be used to purchase equipment, acquire inventory, provide operating capital or leverage additional funding.
  • Another advantage of being a certified targeted small business is the exclusive access TSBs are given to a 48-hour Iowa TSB Procurement website. State agencies seeking goods and services place their job bids on this website 48 hours before they are shared on public website, giving the TSB an edge in competing for the job.

How to Apply

Click here to start an application for certification online with the IEDA. 


Benefits of Certification

  • Listing in the online TSB Directory which is used by public and private buyers across the state
  • Invitation to TSB networking and TSB-exclusive events to meet with other business owners, public purchasing managers and private buyers
  • Introduction to partners who aid with state purchasing, growing your business or connections to other business networks through workshops, webinars and other events
  • Promotion of business as a Certified TSB via the usage of a TSB badge/window cling on marketing materials and storefronts

All Iowa state government agencies are required to establish annual TSB spending projections and report quarterly TSB procurement goals. By becoming a TSB and selling products and services to the state, TSBs help the state’s government entities meet these goals.


State Procurement Benefits

  • Access to a bid notification site to view state procurement opportunities 48 hours in advance of posting to the state’s public site. TSBs receive a link and password for the 48-hour website upon certification
  • Ability to access non-competitive bid opportunities for purchases under $10,000
  • Bond waivers up to $50,000 for state projects. If unable to secure a bond because of the lack of experience, net worth or capital.

State agencies have different levels of procurement authority with unique needs; TSBs are encouraged to be proactive in marketing to them.

Click here to obtain a list of what state agencies purchase and agent contact information or to learn how to become a registered vendor with the state.