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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.

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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.

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Marketing Hometown America

Marketing Hometown America is a program that has been successfully used by Cooperative Extension programs in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and now Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to help rural communities retain their quality of life and market the value of rural places by teaching them to home in on what people are looking for when they choose a place to live and do business.

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Registration Open for 2018 IGFI Workshops on Public Finance and Community and Economic Development

September 6, 2018

In September and October, ISU Extension and Outreach’s Iowa Government Finance Initiative is offering three-hour workshops for local elected, appointed officials (finance, planning, and economic development), and other stakeholders on issues relating to public finance and community and economic development.

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