50 local, regional leaders focus on downtowns during Maquoketa event
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MAQUOKETA, Iowa — About 50 local and regional business leaders met Tuesday in Maquoketa to learn and exchange ideas to improve their downtown business climates.
The event, sponsored by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center, was one of four throughout the state aimed at bringing cities, citizens and regional economic development organizations together to improve small-town main streets.
“I’ve lived in Maquoketa more than 50 years, and we’ve done a lot of things better the last few years,” said Bob Osterhaus, who established Osterhaus Pharmacy in 1965. “We’ve had a lot of meetings about who we are and who we could be. We’ve been working much more with the communities around us because we’re a region that needs to thrive — not Maquoketa, Bellevue or DeWitt, but the whole region.”
Jim Engle, director of state Downtown Resource Center, said the events are designed to help people realize how much more can be accomplished when they work with available programs and each other.
”We have so many technical-assistance or even grant-assistance programs for things like facades that a lot of these towns aren’t even in the loop on,” he said. “There are towns I’ll drive through and realize I’ve never spoken with anyone from that place. So we’re trying to make sure everyone is aware of what’s out there.”
Iowa Sen. Tod. Bowman, D-Maquoketa, said he represents a lot of small cities and the state needs to do more for Main Street businesses. (full article…)
BY MATTHEW REZAB Dubuque Telegraph Herald, June 14, 2017
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