Small business development centers closed by budget concerns will be reopening at Southwestern Community College in Creston and Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. John Ryan, the state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers, says they faced a budget cut of nearly 60-percent a year and a half ago by the legislature. His predecessor only had about 30-days to make the decisions how to cope with that budget shortfall, and learned there were two directors leaving, for a new job or retirement, so it made it easier to choose offices to close without having to fire anyone. Ryan says though that made the closings a little easier, it left southwest Iowa without any local small-business development office. People who need help have to drive, call on the phone or use e-mail, and that’s not the best way to do things. Ryan says the full-time office will open in October in Council Bluffs and a part-time office will open by early next year in Creston. It’s not that Creston’s area doesn’t deserve a full-time center and director, but there isn’t money. Local community colleges get support from Iowa State University to provide help through the small business development centers.
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