COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA (March 18, 2021) Google has released its Economic Impact Report, sharing that 11,000 businesses, publishers, and non-profits in Iowa used Google products to increase their online presence and connect with the people and communities they serve — generating $1.5 billion in economic activity in 2020.

“I believe a lasting economic recovery will come from local communities, and the people and small businesses that give them life. Google wants to be a part of that recovery. That’s why we plan to invest over $7 billion in offices and data centers across the US and create at least 10,000 new full-time Google jobs in the US this year,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, and Alphabet.

Whitfield’s Lawn and Garden in Des Moines was highlighted in Google’s nationwide Economic Impact Report in a case study that details how they used digital tools to increase their online presence and reach customers. During the pandemic, more people noticed the state of their lawns while at home and went online for next steps. With an established Business Profile and active Google ads, many Iowans turned to Whitfield’s Lawn & Garden for their lawn needs. Phones were ringing off the hook, with 75 percent of their daily calls coming via Google. They plan to make the company’s office operations 100 percent digital in 2021.

“Google is everything: From Gmail as a first contact, to our Calendar keeping us organized, to our Drive for collaboration, and to Maps for finding our customers,” said Catum Whitfield, Co-owner of Whitfield’s Lawn and Garden.

Whitfield’s Lawn and Garden is one of many Iowa businesses that used the internet to adapt to new challenges last year. A Connected Commerce Council poll, conducted February 12-26, 2021, reported that 81 percent of Iowa small business owners found digital tools — services, platforms, and marketplaces — to be an important, or essential, part of operating their business. Further, 87 percent said they increased their use of digital tools during COVID-19, with 83 percent expecting to continue, or increase their use of these tools after the pandemic is over. Learn more here.

Google has proudly called Iowa home for more than a decade with a data center in Council Bluffs.  Google has invested more than $2.5 billion in its data-center facilities, establishing a long-term commitment to the region and state.

“Having Google as a member of the community has created a ripple of economic activity throughout Council Bluffs, including job creation, support for local non-profits and schools, and a partner in building one of the largest community Wi-Fi networks in the country,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh. “Access to the internet and digital tools has become even more important during the pandemic, and we are proud to have Google as a neighbor.”

In Iowa, Google creates jobs for over 500 people in a variety of full-time and external-supplier roles, including computer technicians, engineers, and various food services, maintenance, and security roles. Since 2009, Google has awarded more than $2 million in grants to non-profits and organizations based in Iowa, including through the local Impact Challenge Iowa.

About Google in Iowa

Google’s data center in Council Bluffs came online in 2009. Since then, Google has invested more than $2.5 billion and established a long-term commitment to the state. Google employs more than 500 people at its Iowa facility and has awarded more than $2 million to local schools and non-profits in Iowa. 163+ Iowa businesses have connected with their customers through Google and Grow with Google has partnered with 160+ organizations in the state to train tens of thousands of Iowans on digital skills, including public libraries, chambers of commerce, and more. Google has supported STEM learning for 1K+ Iowa students through hands-on learning opportunities like the Anti-Gravity Games, and CS First coding events.

About Google’s Economic Impact Report

The Economic Impact Report details Google's national and local impact in all 50 US states, plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico. It has been released annually for the last 12 years. In 2020, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and Google advertising tools helped provide $426 billion of economic activity for more than two million American businesses, non-profits, publishers, creators, and developers.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher