Economic Support

Rally C.A.P. (Champion and Protect local business) is a buy local initiative led by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance that calls for all area residents to join the team to support our local economy – the local businesses, restaurants, arts and cultural attractions and everything that makes our area a great place to live. Nearly all local businesses have been hurt by the pandemic – many having to shift to an online or curbside model, and many have had to close their doors. No more strikes. We had to act fast.

We are rallying to win this game. We can work together to support and save the local businesses that we all love and would miss if they were forced to close permanently. We’re Rallying for the Local Economy!

  • Over 160 local businesses are participating in the campaign and the Challenge! Consumers were encouraged to patronize participating businesses, to earn “Rally Cards” with every purchase. When 5 were collected they earned a Rally Cap!

Project Better Together was formed in March 2020 (originally using the moniker We’re Better Together), as a joint collaboration of four Johnson County community-based, non-profit organizations: Iowa City Area Business Partnership, Iowa City Area Development Group, Iowa City Downtown District, and Think Iowa City. Initially created to provide one common source for news, information and community resources during the onset of COVID-19, the collaboration developed a website, weekly digital newsletter, webinar series and social media presence to further communicate important and timely information.

Project Better Together continues to provide valuable resources to our community, while also recognizing the need to create a more transformed future with greater economic diversity, growth, inclusivity, resilience, and well-being for all. Since its inception, Project Better Together has created a common platform for community leaders, school districts, non-profits, social services and businesses to connect and develop new initiatives to support Johnson County and assist in economic recovery and community well-being. The Holding Our Own Shop Local Campaign and the Neighborhood NESTS are two examples of the initiatives currently underway.

When the pandemic hit, we stepped up to support our Czech Village New Bohemia District business community. They felt the impact right away. Some were stunned at how quickly business had slowed. We mobilized quickly to promote District buying and to figure out alternative ways to do business. We encouraged more and better online sales capabilities and carry out or delivery. We quickly put together 1-page documents of our businesses, what they were offering, their hours, websites, Facebook pages and phone numbers. And then we constantly promoted and updated the information as needs changed. We decided that a searchable website would be a good companion tool to the 1-pagers. We developed and launched the website in two weeks and have over 1000 businesses on the site and have had over 5000 visits. The pandemic taught us the value of media promotion for all our District has to offer.

Interview with Doug Neumann, Monica Vernon, Mark Nolte, Abby Huff