Guest Columnist

Buy local for the benefit of Cedar Rapids

NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gaze
NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Cedar Rapids businesses are struggling from the impact of the pandemic and the derecho. Many have been forced out of business, and others are dangerously close to closing. They need our help now more than ever. Now is a critical time to show your support and invest in our community.

Local restaurants and businesses enhance our economy and make our community unique. They give back to the community by creating jobs, generating tax revenue to support public services, and donating to local organizations.

Buying from a locally owned business is good for the environment, requiring less fuel for transportation and less packaging. Spending locally instead of online also ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they can serve the biggest benefit to you — in your community.

There are many new and established programs to encourage support of local businesses. These programs offer great deals and discounts for the retail and dining establishments you love. Loyal to Local is selling discounted “bonds” for a large variety of retail and restaurants that can be used for full value at a later date-after March 1, 2021. Downtown Cedar Rapids Dollars will give you $50 in gift cards when you submit $150 of receipts from participating downtown businesses. Other programs like Buy Here Give Here Grow Here, Love Your Local, and District Late Night Thursday are aimed at driving sales at local establishments. And so many local businesses are working hard to provide curbside pickup, home delivery, and online options to make shopping local just as — or even more convenient than big online retailers. These efforts show how hard so many are working to keep these vital businesses in our community. And we all can do our part by taking advantage of these programs and services this holiday season and beyond.

We live in an amazing community where people step up and support each other. We have seen it time and time again. Our local retail and dining establishments are counting on us, just like we count on them. Please don’t wait until it is too late. Let’s make sure we keep our money local and our Cedar Rapids treasures in business for many years to come.

The Cedar Rapids City Council includes Mayor Brad Hart, Tyler Olson, Ann Poe, Patrick Loeffler, Marty Hoeger, Scott Overland, Dale Todd, Scott Olson, Ashley Vanorny.

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