Kevin Lenz speaks as Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds listen.

State officials have partnered with a Kansas City-based non-profit group to create, a sort of “one stop shop” for people who own a small business, or want to start one.

Kevin Lentz of West Des Moines says he could have used this kind of a website 14 years ago when he started his small business.

“There’s over 300 tax-supported agencies right now all around our state that are all prepared and willing to provide resource to start-ups and existing business like myself,” Lentz says.

 “The challenge is navigating that entire network.”

Lentz is the chair of a small business advisory committee that’s been working with officials in the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

“Our committee made sure that we were not just re-inventing another tool and add more chaos to what was already out there,” Lentz says.

The new website is one of 20 created in partnership with Kansas City-based U.S. SourceLink. Iowa’s version — — is up and running today. The website has an “Iowa Business Concierge” tab, as well as a “Resource Navigator” to link business owners and entrepreneurs with local banks, accountants and government agencies that provide assistance. 

“I think if you look through and read about the mortality rate of small businesses that start up, about one in two fail,” Lentz says. “So really, that’s been our overriding goal is not only to improve the number of start-ups, but really improve the success rate for businesses.”

According to the governor’s office, 51 percent of private sector jobs in Iowa are in small businesses.