Say Hello to Hiawatha

Entrepreneurship is the foundation of Hiawatha, Iowa. From professional support to grow your business to financial incentives to make your launch a little easier, this Cedar Rapids suburb is a welcoming place to start a new business or grow an existing one.

Hiawatha’s laser focus on attracting industry has helped the town grow by 8% so far, and it’s on track to achieve 12% growth by 2020. This success stands in stark contrast to the many shrinking small towns across the U.S. and it’s due in no small part to the city government’s unshakable support of businesses and the highly educated local workforce. If you’re looking for a home for your enterprise, consider these reasons why Hiawatha could be the perfect place for you.

Financial incentives: The city prides itself on transparency and a lack of red tape, so decisions on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) incentives can be made in just a few days. The permitting process is simple and is easy to complete online. This customer-focused city will also help you look for ways to make the construction process more efficient, saving you time and money.

Professional development: Whether you’re launching your first venture or opening the latest in a long string of successes, there’s always more to learn. The Hiawatha Economic Development Corporation, or HEDCO, is standing ready with ongoing business education, business summits and mentoring opportunities to give you the best chance to succeed. The area is also packed with educational options:

The Small Business Development Center at Kirkwood Community College offers free, confidential business counseling from experts. Get help with business planning, financing options, market research, loan proposals, growth strategies and more.

SCORE of East Central Iowa connects entrepreneurs with mentors who are either active or retired business professionals. These experts help newcomers start small businesses, grow the ones they have or fix inefficiencies. The East Central Iowa chapter also periodically hosts events on topics like market sizing, sales growth and using social networks to increase sales.

The Entrepreneurial Development Center does double duty. Some clients just need sound guidance, while others benefit from the organization taking a more hands-on role for tasks like financial analysis and securing government resources.

Development and infrastructure: Looking to build your business from scratch? No problem. Hiawatha has over 670 acres inside the city limits (140 of which are dubbed “shovel ready”) that are waiting for commercial development, so no matter what size of footprint you’re planning, the city can accommodate it. Once you’ve decided where to locate, you can count on reliable internet service (much of the local business community has fiber connectivity and multiple internet service providers are available) and redundant electrical service. Customers can reach you through the area’s well-maintained transportation network, especially I-380, which is just minutes away from anywhere in Hiawatha. A UPS center and three railroad options cover all of your shipping and receiving needs, and for business travel, the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is just a few miles south.