News Service


Lars Peterson, SBDC, (515) 292-6351
Kevin Brown, News Service, Iowa State University, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering an interactive forum for small business owners to exchange information or to ask questions of business experts on its Iowa Business Network site (

The SBDC is an arm of Iowa State University's College of Business.

At no cost, Iowa small-business owners and managers may access the Business Answer Center to join in forum discussions on selected business topics or to suggest additional points. SBDC officials or other business people may respond to the topic questions.

A sampling of topic forums include such areas "Ask The Experts," "Energy Matters," "Family Business Issues," "Info Iowa 97," "Internet Technology In Small Businesses," and "Year 2000 Discussion."

The forum is unique due to its ability to adapt to the changing needs of Iowa small business, according to Lars Peterson, Interim Assistant State Director, for the SBDC. For example, he said, if a business wanted a topic area of "Home-Based Businesses" or on "Obtaining Business Loans," those categories could be added.

Examples of individual issues that could generate dialogue might include marketing, sales, management, human resources, accounting, market research and international trends, Peterson said.

Unlike some similar sites, the forum is advertising free. It is a service to the small-business community.

"This is the perfect place for small business people to go to with problems or with specific issues to get expert assistance from SBDC directors or consultants that we supply," Peterson said.

For more information, contact Lars Peterson at 1-800-373- 7232 or e-mail to


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