IRI Training Details

Visualize a Robust Retail District in Your Community

Grow support for small business; participate in Iowa Retail Initiative (IRI)IRI logo

Iowa Retail Initiative sessions are usually funded by shared sponsorship.  ISU staff work with one local organizer, perhaps a city or county Chamber of Commerce director, to strategize funding and recruiting strategies for the IRI trainings.  Local organizations such as banks, county Extension offices, large employers, economic development agencies, and energy/utility providers are regular supporters of this training.

IRI Champions

Who should attend an IRI Champions session?  

This day-long (6 hour) session is intended for planners and leaders in business development, and for anyone whose work supports small businesses.  Typical attendees include representatives from Economic Development offices, Chambers of Commerce, City Council, County Extension Staff, COGs, Local Foundations, and engaged local influencers and volunteers.

Details of this training:

  • 1-day/6 hr.
  • Sponsor should plan to provide light refreshments (beverages and nibbles) and a lunch at mid-day.
  • Group size can range from 12 to 30 participants.  It's best to involve participants from several neighboring communities for maximum impact.

Host Community Fee - $2,500

From this group comes those willing to sponsor the Snapshot and Coaching sessions.

IRI Coaching

Who should participate in a Coaching session?  

Individual business owners in the community who choose to work directly with an ISU Extension and Outreach Coach on selected topics.

Details of this training:

  • First is a virtual meeting with the coach to prepare for onsite training
  • Second contact is a face-to-face training at the business location
  • Third is a virtual meeting to follow up on action steps from the face-to-face training.

The $2,000 fee pays for four individual business IRI Coaching sessions.  The fee is paid by the host community sponsor.

IRI Snapshot

Who should attend an IRI Snapshot session?  

People who make decisions that affect small businesses should be part of this session.  In many communities this includes representatives from city council, county supervisors, chamber of commerce retail trade units, and Main Street Directors.  2-5 people will participate in this training, and one must be a representative of the city.

Details of this training:

  • First is a virtual session, when local participants will confer with ISU staff to customize plans for the IRI Snapshot training
  • In this on-site 6 hour training session, ISU staff will train participants to collect local retail district data
  • The last session is a virtual meeting with participants to interpret the findings, identify priority areas, and develop action steps based on the information gathered in the on-site session.

$2,000 fee paid by host community sponsor

Lisa Bates


For more information contact Lisa Bates: