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DES MOINES, Iowa– For Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, one local organization is encouraging Iowans to shop safe and local.

In August, the Iowa Economic Development Authority launched a website, Shop Iowa, an online marketplace where small businesses in Iowa can sell products for free.

For the holiday season, Shop Iowa has become more accommodating for business owners and offers more options for consumers. 

Four months ago, there were a little over 100 businesses featured on the Shop Iowa site with retailers only being able to sell up to 25 products.  

Now, Shop Iowa features over 300 businesses, has a presence in 79 counties, and gives retailers the chance to now sell up to 50 products with more than 1600 products being sold on the site altogether. 

Spokesperson for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Staci Hupp Ballard,  said Shop Iowa allows local small businesses to compete in today’s online economy and offers a safer solution for Iowans to shop this year in the comfort of their home. 

“What this does is it provides a way for small retailers who may not have the resources to get up and running and to break through some of those barriers that they might face otherwise and getting set up like time and cost and resources,”  Ballard said. “So it’s a great service to be able to provide small retailers and a great option for Iowans to go shopping this year.” 

To learn more about how to feature your business on Shop Iowa visit this website