Iowa is home to the first presidential nominating contest in the country – and also home to private equity-backed jobs and investment. Every day in communities across the Hawkeye State, local businesses partner with private equity to help them unlock and reach their full economic potential. According to a recent EY report, private equity supported 313,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity in Iowa in 2018.
An American Investment Council video series explores how private equity supports four small businesses located in the congressional districts of Iowa Representatives David Loebsack (D), Abby Finkenauer (D), Cynthia Axne (D) and Steve King (R).
Founded in Bettendorf in 1972 by Lawrence Joseph “Happy Joe” Whitty, Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream has served as a midwestern favorite for more than forty-five years. In 2016, the pizza chain partnered with an Iowa-based firm, AAVIN Private Equity, to help scale its core business and acquire additional brands to grow. Happy Joe’s now operates more than sixty restaurants in six states, serving its famous “Taco Pizza” to hungry customers across the Midwest.
In Cedar Rapids, United Life offers annuity and life insurance products to middle market insurance consumers across 37 states. In 2018, United Life partnered with private equity to help strengthen and improve its vast distribution network of 1,350 independent agencies from coast-to-coast.
The American investment Council previously profiled Inland Coatings and Grape Tree Medical Staffing. Partnerships with private equity allowed these Iowa businesses to better serve their communities and strengthen the local economy. Across the United States, the private equity industry accounts for 5 percent of GDP and supports more than 26 million jobs.