Mary Sandry

Mary Sandry

Guest Colmnist

What I’m about to tell you will all sound “too good to be true” and you’ll keep waiting for the “catch” when you learn that this Small Business Program will cost you $0. It is my belief that the intention is to simply help small businesses grow.

We are fortunate to live in a town that fosters great connections to the people and businesses in it. We are able to share our successes and work together to find ways to help small businesses grow in DeWitt. 

I am Mary Sandry, co-owner of Sandry Fire Supply in DeWitt. Last year I participated in a program called 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB), a collaborative training program sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The goal is to put existing small businesses through a business education program which fosters business growth. I am excited to share that this program is now going to be available to up to 60 small businesses in Iowa through a “state-wide” collaboration between Iowa Community Colleges. It will cost nothing for these businesses to participate.

I learned about 10KSB when I was looking for someone/something to help (my husband) Bob and I evaluate our business and assist us with planning for its future. My experience was, without a doubt, the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and our business.

Although I will admit that I was completely skeptical and particularly cautious, it turned out to be a great decision. The program consists of a combination of online and in-person sessions, along with training in such things as financial statements, hiring practices, marketing, negotiations, etc., I ended up gaining so much more. The

networking opportunities and the shared experience with like-minded business

owners were invaluable.

The opportunity to work side by side with business owners who experience the same challenges with business operation and growth was incredible. I have established what I hope to be life-long relationships with contacts who truly want to help me grow my business.

We have used the guidance from the program to develop a new marketing plan for Sandry Fire, which gives us the reach we needed to establish new connections and ultimately grow. We have enhanced numerous in-house processes and software programs that allow for continued growth and improved customer support. 

Best of all, 10KSB has given me the confidence and courage to take the steps to grow and develop Sandry Fire Supply into the company that supports our core values.

Since completing the program in November 2017, our business has experienced an almost 50% growth. Although we cannot attribute all of that to this program, I do believe that it has made a difference in the future of Sandry Fire Supply. We have the knowledge and resources to continue to grow.

Participation in this program will be a significant commitment of your time. Time to learn and grow – while continuing to operate your business. But the opportunity to make your business better is truly one you shouldn’t pass up.

If you have any questions or would like to hear more about 10KSB, feel free to contact me ( or

check out the 10KSB Iowa website (