What's new at MSCR

ECONOMIC VITALITY

Foodie Fridays: Every Friday from April 17-May 22, order take-out meals from a local eatery, post a picture of the meal and the restaurant name on the MSCR Facebook page. Six names will be drawn to win $30 gift certificates to a local restaurant.

Culinary Contract:Prior to the pandemic, task force members were working with local restaurants to create a "dine local" program. Look for exciting details about this program once the pandemic is over.

Business After Hours:Quarterly Business After Hours were scheduled to bring business owners together to network and build a strong business culture. The first was canceled due to the pandemic and the next one will be announced next quarter.

Business Oriented Training/Workshop:
The Economic Vitality team will provide quarterly workshops for businesses covering a variety of topics meant to strengthen businesses. The first one was held on April 14 via Zoom. Fourteen participants attended the virtual class entitled "Social Media for Small Businesses" presented by Robin Bostrom, Business Specialist with Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa. Click here to view the recording.

First Dollar Presentation:
In recognition of their first days of business, MSCR honored Brown Bag & Co. and The Trading Post with First Dollar Presentations. During the presentations the new businesses were given a plaque containing their first dollar of clear profit and sentiment wishing them many years of success. These presentations will be an on-going way in which we will officially recognize new businesses in the downtown district.  

Open 4 Business Competition:
This competition is an opportunity for businesses located within the designated Main Street district to compete for a chance to win up to $28,000 in grant funds to assist with a business development or expansion project that will help them grow their business.  MSCR had four local businesses interested and one business complete the 2020 application.  The applicant, however, has decided to withdraw from this year’s competition.

ORGANIZATION

Newsletter: The Organization team will create and distribute a quarterly newsletter. The first release of the newsletter is was mailed to anyone who lives in the 50058 zip code on May 1. After the first edition is released, subsequent editions will be in digital print and not mailed to the community. We encourage the community to subscribe to the newsletter to stay informed about Main Street Coon Rapids projects and opportunities. Click here to subscribe.

Website: The Organization team also created a Main Street Coon Rapids website. This website is housed as a piece of the Coon Rapids community website at www.coonrapidsiowa.com. Content of the MSCR website includes district information, board member information, committee happenings, a business catalog, business openings, current projects, future projects and volunteer opportunities, as well as a place to sign up to be a volunteer.

CR-B Place of 2020 Banners: A task force was formed to work on a project to support our 2020 graduating class of CR-B. During the unprecedented pandemic, our seniors are not getting the senior year they had planned. MSCR will celebrate their accomplishments by erecting a banner for each graduate on light poles in Main Street Coon Rapids. Thank you to everyone who made a donation to this project and pulled it off in such a short amount of time. Our community is nothing short of amazing and full of Crusader Pride.

DESIGN

Wayfinding: A task force has spent several weeks identifying key locations in the community to place wayfinding signs to direct guests to our attractions, dining, and shopping areas. They are also working with the DOT to meet sign requirements along Highway 141. An upcoming marketing plan will aid in the design of the signs.

Boulevard Landscaping:Boulevard Sketch Three design specialists from Main Street Iowa met with numerous community members on March 3. The day-long charette generated several great ideas for the boulevard. A task force is continuing to refine the design concept which includes natural prairie grasses, perennials, small evergreens, artwork and a display area for seasonal decorations. They hope to have the low-maintenance design finalized soon and the new landscaping complete by the end of June. Photo at right is tentative design plan.

Grain Bin Artwork: Two grain bins owned by Todd and Charolette Heck on Sixth Avenue downtown are slated to receive a facelift with new artwork. The Art Task Force has spent six months researching a variety of mediums that could be used to put art on the bins and have selected metal artwork. With funds from Creating Great Places, the task force has hired artist Zach Jones of Malvern to develop a metal artwork plan (visual concept, materials, budget, etc.). They plan to begin grant writing and fundraising in June.

Building Façade Rehabilitation Design: In April, the design specialists from Main Street Iowa reviewed several downtown buildings and met with building owners to discuss possible façade rehabilitation options. These designs provide owners a historic preservation concept.

PROMOTIONS

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our downtown events. We will not have the Memorial Weekend Main Street Block Party. The Easter Egg Hunt was postponed, however, since most of the prizes had already been purchased, we will create a similar event when the pandemic is over. We are researching events for when the pandemic is over, like Movies on Main during the warm weather months. As soon as we are comfortable that the pandemic is over, we’ll be turning out great events for our community downtown.

Scoop the Loop: MSCR brought back this Coon Rapids tradition to encourage socializing at a distance and supporting local eateries.  Every Friday in April and May, residents and guests are invited to cruise the three-block Main Street loop starting at 6:00 p.m. Don’t forget to call in a meal from a local restaurant on your way home.

Marketing Plan/Rebranding: In an effort to attract out-of-town customers and connect the 10,000 annual Whiterock Conservancy guests to downtown, MSCR and the City of Coon Rapids are participating in a marketing/rebranding program. This process will be facilitated by Arnette Muldrow & Associates, a firm that specializes in small-town downtown revitalization. Funding for this project is provided through a variety of partnerships. Main Street Iowa is supporting the costs of Arnett Muldrow & Assoc.’s technical assistance. We are also partnering with the Iowa Rural Development Council and their Power of Connection Community Grant, Creating Great Places and the City of Coon Rapids to pay for the implementation of the plan. Visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/coonrapids to take the initial opinion survey.

Retail Partners: We created a monthly forum for our retailers to connect and work together on cross-promotions creating a strong retail district. Ideas include creating more ladies' nights, cooperative advertising campaigns, holiday-themed promotions, correlating shop hours, etc. We look forward to seeing the ideas they come up with.

 

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406 Main Street, Coon Rapids, IA 50058 | 712-999-GROW | [email protected]
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      City of Coon Rapids
      City of Coon Rapids
      123 3rd Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058
      Phone: 712-999-7749
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