Grinnell Chamber

Community Newsletter Blog

Learn more about what's happening in the community each week

What Does Freedom Mean To You

Posted on 07/01/2021 at 1:47 PM
What Does Freedom Mean to You?
This Sunday recognizes Independence Day, a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation. While many of us will likely be gathering with friends and family enjoying parades and fireworks again this year after a hiatus last year, I encourage you to think about the meaning of freedom and its broader impact on you, your family, and our community.
 
Freedom means different things to each of us, and our freedom as a country has allowed us to grow, explore and imagine the impossible. Our founding fathers took important steps toward freedoms that continue to be built upon today. As a result, we are afforded opportunities we may not have had otherwise. Because of this commitment and vision for freedom, we are a diverse country, state and community. With diversity comes entrepreneurship and without freedom in entrepreneurship the Grinnell community would not be what it is today. 
 
Join us in Grinnell as we celebrate our freedom with the annual Fourth of July parade which will begin at 5pm on Sunday, July 4th. Please note we are using a new route this year due to road construction. You can find route and signup information here. At dusk that evening, fireworks can be viewed from Ahrens Park. 
 
As you enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend, please take a few moments to think about what freedom means to you, its impact on our community and how we can ensure we continue to work towards freedom, liberation and community building for all.
--Rachael Kinnick

Have You Voted Today?

Posted on 06/24/2021 at 1:51 PM
Have You Voted Today?
I have a confession - yesterday I had a bit of a blunder. I accidentally sent our Member Message (a message we send weekly to our full membership) to our Community list (all of you!) -- apparently I was trying to do way too many things at the same time because it wasn't even until hours later that I realized what had been done. The good news is that what we share with all of them may be beneficial to many of you as well, and perhaps may encourage some of you to consider joining the Chamber. Though definitely different in context from our 'regular' weekly newsletter; alas, you'll find that format here today! 
 
We are excited to share and debut with you our #GrinnelliansUnite video that was submitted earlier this week to the #IowansUnite CommUNITY contest. The video with the most votes will win a custom mural for their downtown district. I'm a fairly competitive person and would really like to see us WIN this contest, but we need your votes daily through next Wednesday to make it happen. Simply go to THIS LINK and vote now for the Grinnell video! 
 
Over the past year we have seen our community, neighbors and businesses unite in unique ways through the pandemic as well as the derecho. Today, we are asking you to unite once again by voting for Grinnell, and asking your respective circles to do the same. And as much as we want to win a mural for our community (please vote daily!), we are so very proud of our community and all the positive campaigns, efforts and initiatives that have come out of the past year to help support our businesses, organizations and fellow Grinnellians. We have creatively and collaboratively come together to see #GrinnelliansUnite and we are excited for the future and continuing our work with each of you to make Grinnell an incredible place to live, learn, work and play. 
 
Together, #GrinnelliansUnite! 
--Rachael Kinnick 

Meet Maddy

Posted on 06/24/2021 at 1:49 PM
Meet Maddy
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be here. My fiance and I packed up our things and moved here from Coralville on June 1st. I come from a small town between the Quad Cities and Iowa City- Durant, Iowa. It’s a bit smaller than Grinnell- about 1,800 people. My dad is a housing developer and he also runs a small, mom and pop lumber yard, so I’ve always been passionate about small businesses and shopping locally. After high school, I went to the University of Iowa and studied Leadership Communications, Entrepreneurial Management, and Art. That landed me a job as an executive at a large retailer for four years. I got thrown into the corporate setting and had to learn to swim really fast to keep my head above water. Coming out of that job, I gained confidence to lead a team, successfully meet sales and operations standards, and give exceptional customer service to those who visited. 
 
“What brought you to Grinnell?” Is the question I get asked regularly when I meet Grinnellians. My fiance, Chris, graduated dental school from the University of Iowa on June 4th. He is joining the practice at Family Dentistry. We also brought our 7 month old micro-mini bernedoodle, Finnie, with us to Grinnell- I can’t forget about her!
 
I am excited to join the Chamber part-time as a Business Support Specialist, and look forward to meeting you. If you’re around, please stop in and introduce yourself! Aside from my role with the Chamber, you can also find me on Anna Kayte’s Boutique social media platforms and behind the computer screen for Nobious as a Marketing & Sales Assistant. I am anxious to meet all of you, and I am so eager to jump into this community! Outside of office hours, you can find me shopping, eating yummy food, & spending time with Chris and Finnie!
--Maddy Paper
 
p.s. We are considering hosting a job fair to help our employers reach talent. Would you take 2 minutes to complete this quick survey to help us gauge interest?

Did You Start With Lemonade?

Posted on 06/17/2021 at 1:52 PM
Did You Start With Lemonade?
Have you ever set up a lemonade stand? How about dog-walking, mowing lawns, a hot dog stand or even babysitting? Young entrepreneurs are all around us, and finding creative ways to make money and learn the ropes of business. In fact, this year we have seen a sizable increase in the number of young entrepreneurs attending Farmers Market - managing their own booth space, product and promotion. A great learning experience for them as they get their feet wet as young entrepreneurs in our community. An entrepreneur joining us this year is Milo with his business, Sweet Castle Soaps. Milo has joined us weekly since the beginning of the season and is learning a lot of valuable lessons and would love to see you on a Saturday morning in the near future! 
 
We also have some pretty incredible entrepreneurs in our community - people who are willing to take risks, work hard, and often stand alone for something they believe in. They are amazing individuals, business owners and community members. Please consider supporting our entrepreneurs, both young and young at heart, when you make your next purchases in our community. Your support goes a long way, and helps them continue to work hard and dream of the next innovative, creative and fun ideas! 
--Rachael Kinnick 

Dare I Say It?

Posted on 06/10/2021 at 1:52 PM
Dare I Say It?
It seems that things are slowly, but surely, getting into a post-pandemic normal. Business is picking up for many of our small businesses that have struggled immensely over the past year, visitors are exploring our community again and loving what it has to offer, and residents are emerging to re-visit attractions, events, businesses and one another. What a lovely feeling it is to start the summer in this way.  
 
That said, many of our businesses are still not out of the woods yet. In fact, a recent survey compiled by our colleagues at UNI's Institute for Decision Making, in conjunction with Iowa Economic Development Authority, shares that 35.4% of survey respondents estimated it will take another 6 months for their business to recover to pre-pandemic status, which puts that target date nearer September. ´╗┐We imagine that is largely the case locally as our large businesses continue to navigate their return-to-office schedules and policies, which has an impact and trickle-down effect to our smallest businesses as well.
 
The short of it - our businesses still need your support today and every day as they navigate this new normal. And they'll need our support every day into the future. It is hard work to be an entrepreneur, to take risks and put yourself out there, and to have your business endure a pandemic. I hope you'll join me in keeping our support of small businesses strong, and doing what you can to help keep them in business.
 
Let us all continue to support local businesses! 
--Rachael Kinnick  
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