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Why Local Leaders Should Support Immigrant-owned Businesses

June 7, 2017

Immigrant-owned businesses are becoming more and more prevalent in Iowa. Driving through communities such as Perry, Ottumwa, Storm Lake, and Marshalltown, the impact of immigrant-owned businesses in the central business district is evident. These businesses play a vital role in Iowa’s economy, contributing significantly to our local tax base. Storefronts that would otherwise be empty--due to the general decline in rural retail caused by pull factors such as e-commerce and big box stores--are instead filled with ethnic grocery stores and restaurants, vaquero Western Wear shops, and Quinceañera gowns and party supplies. Read more about Why Local Leaders Should Support Immigrant-owned Businesses

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Shelley Oltmans

Shelley Oltmans is a field specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach CED, in this position she serves as the executive director of the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce.

Marketing Hometown American program uses civility to attract new businesses and population to small communities

Businesses close. People move away. It happens everywhere. In rural places these losses seem more devastating, are more lamented, and can feel like a harbinger of future doom. 

Facing these losses, small communities throughout the upper Midwest are trying a happier approach to retaining their quality of life and marketing the value of rural places. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development (CED) unit is now able to offer the Marketing Hometown America program that has been successfully used by Cooperative Extension programs in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota to help communities home in on what people are looking for when they choose a place to live and do business. Read more about Marketing Hometown American program uses civility to attract new businesses and population to small communities

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Extension CED gains real estate expertise with new faculty member

December 11, 2018

Real estate development matters to communities, whether it’s residential, providing homes for community members; or commercial, creating jobs and boosting the local economy

To address this important facet of community development, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development (CED) program has added a new member to its team. In August 2018, Daniel Kuhlmann joined ISU’s Department of Community and Regional Planning as an assistant professor with responsibilities in the CED program and with the ISU Ivy College of Business. Read more about Extension CED gains real estate expertise with new faculty member

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Sara Shonrock

Sara Shonrock
Knowledge Team(s)
Extension Program Specialist, Office of State and Local Government Programs/Iowa League of Cities

Marketing Hometown America Study Circles Spark Community Conversations, Action Plans for New Resident Attraction

Six communities are starting the Marketing Hometown America program this winter to discuss what makes their community special, why those unique assets might be attractive to new residents, and how to let potential residents know their towns are vibrant places to live.

Marketing Hometown America is a research-based extension program offered in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. The purpose of the program is to help communities address rural depopulation and the resulting loss of economic vitality caused by years of demographic change. Read more about Marketing Hometown America Study Circles Spark Community Conversations, Action Plans for New Resident Attraction

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