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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Retail recruiting paying dividends in CR

CEDAR RAPIDS — When Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomerantz and city council member Scott Olson head off to recruit retailers at one of the world’s biggest retail conventions each spring, they come prepared.

They bring the “good news list,” a comprehensive listing of all the positive rankings and other good news Cedar Rapids has amassed in the recent past. They bring a calendar of appointments with retailers that citizens have said they’d like to see in their community. They bring plenty of hard data about the community. And of course, they bring their Midwestern sincerity and perseverance.

2014 Women of Influence class leads, inspires

CORRIDOR – In the past 10 years, the Corridor Business Journal’s Women of Influence has brought to the forefront an amazing group of women who inspire, lead, and most importantly, give freely of themselves.

This year’s class is no exception. Ranging in age from 33 to 84, these women have helped shape their own generation as well as pave the way for future leaders.

Growth plans attract Hupp Electric to Marion

MARION – Hupp Electric, the electric motor rebuilding company that began 102 years ago in Cedar Rapids, will relocate to the former Kwik-Way Complex in Marion next year to add capacity and increase efficiency.

Hupp Electric recently completed its acquisition of the 110,000-square-foot facility, located at 500 57th St., for $2.6 million, president Kevin Hupp said.

Czech traditions, holidays explored at NCSML

CEDAR RAPIDS – A new exhibition shown exclusively at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library tracks a full year of traditional Czech holidays and customs.

“Celebration! Rituals and Revelry of Life,” explores folk traditions through colorful Czech masks, costumes, religious artifacts and other items directly from the National Museum in Prague.

Wi-Fi more common in Corridor downtown areas

A revival in public Wi-Fi systems is bringing improved connectivity to downtown areas in the Corridor and at the same time raising the possibility that they will become a bridge to citywide public Wi-Fi networks.

Downtown Iowa City activated a new downtown Wi-Fi system in February on the Pedestrian Mall. The city of Cedar Rapids plans to solicit proposals for a new downtown Wi-Fi system this spring, and the city of Marion has discussed plans to improve the downtown Wi-Fi system it launched more than two years ago.

Uptown Marion touts real estate opportunities

MARION – With more commercial development under way than it’s seen in decades, Uptown Marion rolled out the welcome mat for retailers and investors Feb. 27.

The first Uptown Marion Real Estate Showcase offered a close-up look at eight properties for sale or lease. They included historic storefronts, such as the 1873-built Mentzer & Son Grocery Building at 710 10th St., and future gems, such as the $2.6-million Phillip’s Diamond building at the southeast corner of 13th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Customer service positions outnumber applicants

CORRIDOR – The humble customer service representative is one of the occupations that drives the Corridor economy, but it’s not so humble anymore.

A limited supply of customer service representatives is one of the pressure points in the workforce driving a $750,000 million workforce recruitment campaign launched in January by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

Innovation requires confidence, collaboration

CORALVILLE – Learn from your failures, but be sure to tout your accomplishments.

These were the overriding themes at “Unleashing Innovation in the Corridor,” the Corridor Business Journal’s first Power Breakfast of the year, held March 5 at the Coralville Marriott.

A panel of executives in the private and public sector shared their experiences with innovation. Not every idea will make it, all agreed, but teamwork and execution will make the great ideas thrive.

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