siouxcitypictures_068Sioux City is being named Iowa’s Small Business Community of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Renae Billings, an economic development specialist for Sioux City, says it’s a thrill the city’s being recognized for showing itself to be the ideal collaborative environment for small businesses to succeed.

“This award is very reflective of the growing partnerships we have in our region,” Billings says. “Economic development organizations are really working together to increase entrepreneurial activity in northwest Iowa and support small business growth. We have a lot of great partners we’ve been working with to gain a lot of attraction and go that route.” She says the Siouxland area is striving to build a culture that will help entrepreneurs to launch new endeavors, to grow and to prosper.

“We’re working together to host networking events for entrepreneurs to help them make key connections in our region,” Billings says. “Organizing business idea competitions so they have a chance to win start-up capital. We’re trying to provide specialized educational programs and technical assistance and identifying new resources and programs they may benefit from.”

Initiatives that Sioux City was recognized for include Start-Up Sioux City, a collaborative effort between private and public interests to nurture and encourage entrepreneurship within the city.

The SBA award will be presented to Sioux City at the Iowa Smart Conference in Des Moines on April 28th.