Lisa Shimkat

The Iowa Small Business Development Center is launching what it’s calling an Inclusivity Challenge to make sure minority business owners and entrepreneurs have the resources to succeed as the pandemic continues.

Lisa Shimkat, the center’s state director, says it’s important to be proactive to make sure underrepresented businesses get the support they need. “There’s no rules to how to successfully come out of a pandemic, there’s no rules as to how we need to do the next steps in our business,” Shimkat says, “so why don’t we get out in front of this and define it? That’s what we wanted to do.”

Shimkat says one of their primary goals is to lend help those businesses that are most in danger of closing. “We could form a committee, we could sit around and talk about it, but instead, let’s just get out in front of this, make decisions and make it happen,” she says.

A kickoff event is scheduled for Wednesday where the center, along with representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, will address some of the state’s gaps in access to resources.

(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)