Grinnell Chamber

Community Newsletter Blog

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

Time For School

Posted on 08/05/2021 at 1:42 PM
Time for School
Like many of you, we're beginning to gear up for 'back to school' time, and if you are anything like me you're not fully recognizing that it is already August - it seems that this summer has absolutely flown by! As we get ready for back-to-school time, that often means new clothing and shoes for the family, and Iowans have the opportunity to save a bit this weekend during the annual Tax-Free Weekend*! As you start to navigate your own back-to-school plans, please take a moment to support our small business retailers with your purchases. 
We've taken the last few weeks to highlight some, albeit certainly not all, of our independent retailers via our Facebook page, and have been able to showcase some items you may not realize they carry in store. Before you head out to shop this weekend, swing over to our page to check out some of these videos and see some of the unique items our stores carry. 
I encourage you to do as much of your back-to-school shopping locally, if possible. Shopping local for all these purchases really does make a difference to our small business retailers, and will help them immensely.  
--Rachael Kinnick 
*Tax-free weekend is Friday, August 6 & Saturday, August 7, 2021. For a full list of qualifying purchases, click here

Have You Seen It?

Posted on 07/29/2021 at 1:43 PM
Have You Seen It?
Have you seen the newest mural in the community? A joint venture with the Grinnell Area Arts Council and Grinnell College's Offices of International Student Affairs, and Community Enhancement and Engagement has led to the community's newest mural, located on the south side of McNally's Foods. 
The mural, designed by Grinnell College student Tommy (Guhn) Lee '22, was painted by groups of community volunteers over the past two weeks. The public art piece is now complete with colorful depictions of what people can expect to eat, see and experience in Grinnell. One of Tommy's goals was to help increase visual sources of joy and reiterate that everyone from around the world is welcome in Grinnell. 
Initiatives like this public art piece can help foster community engagement, and ultimately help enhance quality of life for a community's residents and visitors alike. Make sure you check out Grinnell's newest mural the next time you're near McNally's! 
--Rachael Kinnick

What Do YOU Look For?

Posted on 07/22/2021 at 1:44 PM
What do YOU look for?
My family and I are finally getting back into some low-key travel, and as I'm visiting different communities, I'm finding myself looking at all sorts of things I've not experienced lately. So I'm curious, what do you look for when you visit new communities? What compels you to choose to visit a place - is it referrals, a website, a specific attraction? And when you get there, what do you find most appealing about the place - is it the people, the signage, the things to do? I may be a bit unique, but lately I've found myself admiring communities for all sorts of reason, but especially how friendly their community members are. After not traveling for well over a year, I'm finding that getting back out and engaging in conversations with people has been incredibily fun and rewarding. I love to visit small businesses (especially in our own community but whilst on vacation as well) and simply visit with the owners and how things are going - what do they love about their communities and what do they wish were different?
It will never be a 'perfect world' for business and visitors alike, but there is most certainly a balancing act. I'd love if you'd take just a quick minute to reply to this message to let me know what you look for through your own traveling lens. Perhaps it'll make a 'short list' as a way to engage businesses and bring more visitors to our own community! 
--Rachael Kinnick 

It Seems Ridiculous!

Posted on 07/15/2021 at 1:45 PM
It Seems Ridiculous!
July recognizes Independent Retailer Month, and we're celebrating this month by visiting many of our independent retailers for another round of Facebook Live videos to showcase some of their products and recognize the uniqueness they bring to our community each and every day. You can follow us on social and tune into our Facebook page every day this month (and part of next!) as we highlight our retailers as part of this effort. 
While we're talking independent retailers, I hope you have plans to do some shopping this weekend in Grinnell. After all, if it seems like a ridiculously good deal, it probably is! Many of our Grinnell merchants are hosting Grinnell's Ridiculous Day this Saturday, July 17. While Ridiculous Day may look and feel different to many of you who have experienced the event for many years, the concept is still the same - support locally owned businesses. These small businesses need our support every day, and are excited to share some of their inventory with you at ridiculously low prices for one-day only this weekend. 
We encourage you to shop Grinnell this weekend. Whether at ridiculously low prices, or full price items, it offers a great opportunity to support small businesses. Far after this weekend, I hope you'll keep our independently owned retailers (and all small businesses!) in mind for all your shopping and dining needs. 
--Rachael Kinnick 

Honoring Heroes

Posted on 07/08/2021 at 1:46 PM
Honoring Heroes
Hearing the cheers, seeing the standing ovations for our 4th of July parade Grand Marshal, Dr. Lauren Graham, was quite possibly the most heartwarming thing I have recently experienced. During Sunday evening's parade, it was clear that most everyone along the route had a connection with Dr. Graham, or another of our healthcare heroes, who has been so incredibly committed to our community. 
We received many incredible and worthy nominations for this year's Grand Marshal, ultimately choosing Dr. Lauren Graham for this recognition. One nomination read in part, "During this past year she has been the frontline for healthcare serving our community in various aspects. Dr. Graham is an internist as well as the medical staff president at UPH Grinnell. In addition to those roles, she is also a mother and raises her family in our community. If that is not enough, during the past year she has been the community go-to in just about every aspect when it comes to COVID19. She continuously and positively advocated for #Grinntogether, #MaskUpGrinnell, #BehindtheMask and so many other things, leading us through such a challenging and trying unprecedented year.”
Dr. Graham serves as a general internist at UnityPoint Health - Grinnell Regional Medical Center with a focus on high-risk outpatient care. She completed her medical school and residency at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore as well as a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio she and her husband moved to Grinnell in 2013. Her husband, Andrew, is a professor of chemistry and environmental sciences at Grinnell College. The couple have twin boys; Noah & Ben. 
To Dr. Graham and ALL of our healthcare heroes: thank you for your commitment to provide high quality, compassionate healthcare for our community today and every day. 
--Rachael Kinnick 
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