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Dubuque, IA
Dubuque, IA
Ann McDonough
Plane Art Designs

Plane Art Designs, which I founded with my husband, Peter Healey, is a screen-printing apparel company. We design and produce T-shirts, hats and bags for the K-12 schools in the Dubuque Community School System. We also produce items for local colleges, other non-profits, corporations and small retailers.

Our business operates in an historic warehouse on lower Main Street, which is the heart of the city. When we were starting out, we received tremendous support from the local Chamber of Commerce. They led us to the Small Business Development Center. In several one-on-one meetings, the Center helped us create a complete five-year business plan that we presented to our local bank.

The city learned a lesson when its manufacturing sector was rocked in the late 1970s. Since then, municipal leaders have put in place measures to ensure a more diversified Dubuque economic base. I've seen many young people transplanted here because they're drawn by companies like John Deere and IBM.

My husband and I are Dubuque natives, and the city is still small enough to have a homey feel. Every time you step out into Main Street is a networking opportunity. The folks at the local UPS know us by name and even recognize my voice. It's a real neighborhood. -Coeli Carr

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