Following a tense news week dominated by hurricane-force winds ripping through Iowa, the Iowa Economic Development Authority has launched an awareness campaign aimed at supporting the small businesses that have heroically stepped up amid the pandemic.  

The campaign — #IowansUnite — supports “the incredible efforts of restaurants, retailers and attractions not only adapting to survive, but also daring to dream big,” wrote Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. 

Durham is asking the business community and all Iowans to help raise awareness of these small businesses’ efforts by sharing and reposting content from the campaign, including: 

- A video series that captures the heart, emotion and resiliency of small business owners through their powerful stories. These videos are being promoted through ThisIsIowa.com and IEDA’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. The first video launched last week, and can be viewed here.

- A partnership with radio and television stations across Iowa to feature stories of local business owners who will discuss how they’re adapting, keeping customers and employees safe and doing their part to strengthen Iowa’s economy.

- A social media series that showcases a category of small business or attraction, such as local bookstores, with an icon map displaying where to find them in Iowa. These maps are shared across Travel Iowa’s Facebook,Twitter and Instagram profiles.

Additionally, a video contest will be held in September that invites communities across Iowa to submit creative and inspirational videos showcasing how they’ve supported their local small businesses. The video with the largest number of votes on social media will win custom signage tailored to the city.

The IEDA is also promoting these online options for supporting small businesses:

ShopIowa.com, a new e-commerce platform that gives small retailers, particularly those lacking an online presence, a place to showcase their products and businesses.

Gift Card Marketplace, an online marketplace to purchase gift cards or vouchers to shops, museums, restaurants and more.