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 county Extension office or a 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 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.  Invite and involve participants from several neighboring communities for maximum impact.

Details of this training:

  • 1-day/6 hr.
  • Sponsor should plan to provide light refreshments (beverages and nibbles) and a meal, depending on time of day.
  • Group size can range from 12 to 30 participants.

 $2,500 fee paid by host sponsor (see above for suggestions of sponsors).

IRI Snapshot

Who should attend an IRI Snapshot session?  

People who make decisions that affect small businesses should be part of this session, anyone who attended the IRI Champion Session (above) is a great candidate to help with IRI Snapshot.  In many communities this includes representatives from city council, county supervisors, chamber of commerce retail trade units, and Main Street Directors.  At least 6 people should participate in this training, and one must be a representative of the city.

Details of this training:

  • In this on-site 6 hour training session, ISU staff and local participants learn about the snapshot process and practice creating a snapshot of one city block.
  • Local participants finish creating the snapshot of the local retail district on their own, within a few weeks.
  • In the last session, ISU staff gather together with local participants to interpret the findings, identify priority areas, and develop action steps based on the snapshot they created.

$2,000 fee paid by host sponsor (see above for suggestions of sponsors).

Lisa Bates


For more information contact Lisa Bates: