Job growth in the retail and service sector has not matched the wages of manufacturing and other middle-skill level jobs lost over the past decade in Iowa. The difference has contributed to a growing disparity between low- and high-income households, which is especially profound in specific parts of the state, according to a new report by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach rural sociologist David Peters. Click HERE to read more. Read more about New ISU report shows growing income inequality evidence of shrinking middle class
Equip your local independent retail, invest in your local economy Read more about Iowa Retail Initiative
A list of resources to encourage retail health and vitality from city / district scale to individual retail stores. Read more about Resources for Iowa Retail
According to the Iowa Small Business Development Center, there are 266,382 small businesses employing 641,288 people in Iowa, and nearly 50% of all workers in the state are employed by a small business. Of those small businesses, only one-tenth are retail; however, retail has an outsized impact on community character and quality of life.
Communities understand that supporting local retail is key to becoming and remaining economically viable. However, most local small retail business owners are so busy with the day-to-day details of running a business, they don’t have the time to equip and empower themselves and their employees with key foundational skills and tools. Without this knowledge, businesses stagnate and local economies suffer and decline.
Enter the Iowa Retail Initiative (IRI). Read more about Iowa Retail Initiative piloting ‘rebooted’ program in two communities