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NOTEBOOK: 700-plus T-shirts supporting Ankeny businesses sold


It’s no secret that many of Iowa’s more than 267,700 small businesses are struggling to survive forced shutdowns and reduced revenue as the nation battles the pandemic.

And while financial help has been made available through the federal government and the Federal Reserve, individual communities are also finding ways to raise much-needed money for small businesses.

In Ankeny, for instance, several members of the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce started the #ANKENY2GETHER movement, which includes selling T-shirts with messages of support for businesses. More than 700 of the T-shirts have been sold and the group has raised nearly $1,000 from cash donations. All of the profits from the T-shirt sales are going into a grant program to help businesses.

Among the businesses that have received grants are Dave’s Jewelry and Rogue Bodyworks.

A chamber committee reviews the applications, and selection is based on need for financial assistance, the three-month business forecast, employees in need and the business’s community story.

Local efforts to help support and retain businesses will continue, predicted Ankeny’s Economic Development Director Derek Lord during a recent virtual forum sponsored by the Business Record. 

“These are retention activities that were not even on anyone’s radar just a few weeks ago,” he said. “I think civic organizations and cities are going to do more of those hyper-local campaigns, especially as we get closer to summer because we anticipate people staying closer to home.”

The Ankeny T-shirts are available online at ankeny2gether.qbcampus.com or at Ankeny Hy-Vee stores.

Businesses can fill out grant applications at www.ankeny.org.

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