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Business Climate

Topping several notable business rankings across the country, including those conducted by popular news sites NBC News, Forbes, USA Today and MarketWatch, Greater Des Moines (DSM) ranks among the highest when it comes to best cities to live, work and start a business. With a highly trained workforce, tax advantages, business incentives and business-friendly state and local governments, DSM's business climate is thriving.

Business Retention and Expansion Report

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has released results from its 2021 Regional Existing Industry Report. The report is a compilation of data gathered from 177 company visits in 24 communities in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region, using the Synchronist Existing Industry Survey to capture data.

The data provides information about the business climate and can be used to identify trends and develop policy for future economic enhancement.

America's Best Workforce

DSM's workforce is highly educated and productive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Iowa continues to reach the highest public high school graduation rate in the nation, 6% above the U.S. average at 92% (2019). The DSM region boasts over a 95% rate (Iowa Department of Education, 2018), and student scores on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams rank among the best in the country. The region's educational attainment is competitive with metros nationwide: 48.7% of residents aged 25 – 64 have an Associate's degree or higher (JobsEQ, 2022).

Combined with our training incentives and excellent educational institutions, the region's workforce provides a profitable advantage for a business location. Screening, assessment and testing services are offered so that a company can select the right people for new jobs, and training reimbursements allow the company to save valuable dollars to train these workers up front.

Iowa is a Right-to-Work State

Under Iowa law, an employee must not be required to join a union or pay dues or fees to any labor union, association or organization as a condition of employment.

Unemployment Insurance

Iowa has one of the lowest new employer unemployment insurance tax rates in the nation. The 2023 standard new employer rate for all non-construction businesses for a three-year period is 1.00% percent on $36,100 maximum taxable earnings.

Tax Advantages & Incentives

Iowa's corporate income tax laws offer significant advantages when compared to the corporate taxes of other states. Find information on further tax advantages in the state of Iowa to assist in expanding businesses and relocating to our state. 

Local Government

The Partnership collaborates with various counties, communities and other partners ready to bring in and collaborate with new business.


The Partnership provides local small businesses with resources that enable growth and prosperity among entrepreneurs. 

Major Employers

A selection of the largest employers in the DSM region can be found here.


DSM is a leader in developing sustainable infrastructure to accommodate the region's rapidly growing business economy. 


DSM's strong and reliable transportation infrastructure makes the region a prime choice for businesses.

Doing Business in DSM Synopsis

Get an overview of the business climate in DSM and learn more about how your business can grow and gain an edge in the region.

Request the Doing Business in DSM packet for more information.

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