What's new at MSCR

   New Season, New Image

Main Street Coon Rapids had the pleasure of working with community volunteers, Main Street Iowa, the Iowa Rural Development Council and Arnett Muldrow & Associates to create a new brand image and marketing plan for Coon Rapids.  This exciting new plan aims to build local pride, recruit investment to the community, and market Coon Rapids to visitors. Click here to see implementation designs.

Congratulations to MSCR and Hardware Hank Challenge Grant Recipients

Congratulations to Hardware Hank and Main Street Coon Rapids, recipients of a $75,000 2020 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant.  Owners Duane, Robyn and Adam Esdohr will use the grant, an additional $37,500 pledged by the City of Coon Rapids and their own funds to transform the19,000 SF former Syngenta customer service office building into a retail center with four showrooms, warehouse, cold storage, service department and office suites. Renovation of this commercial property will transform a vacant building and dilapidated parking lot into a jewel for Main Street Coon Rapids. Restoring this building will not only save it from further decline, but will allow the hardware store to expand and triple in size and product offerings.

Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant is available only to Main Street Iowa communities, and the application process requires a substantial commitment of time and energy at the local level. This year, Main Street Iowa received a total of 29 applications requesting over $1.8 million in grant funds.?The grant applications were very strong, and the scoring process was extremely competitive. With $925,000 in the Challenge Grant funding pool this year, MSI was able to offer grant awards to 14 projects. Click here to read full story.


Consumer Pulse Poll. They completed a Consumer Pulse Poll which was used to determine the comfort level of the general public concerning the pandemic. We analyzed the poll data and released the results to businesses and the public. The EV Committee hosted a Business After Hours event for business owners/managers to discuss the results of the Pulse Poll, consistent business hours, and upcoming events. From this discussion, it was decided to host Shop Local. Shop Late. Ladies Nights the second Thursdays of the months from 4-8 p.m. During the Ladies Night event, Coon Coins were introduced to promote and thank shoppers for shopping local.

Business After Hours. Coon Rapids Hardware Hank hosted a Business After Hours Wednesday, October 14 at 5:30 p.m. During their hour networking businesses discussed future "Shop Local. Shop Late. Ladies Nights.", Christmas in a Small Town and opportunities for local businesses through Main Street Coon Rapids.

Christmas in July. The EV Committee hosted Christmas in July program which was a huge hit. They gave out 20 Coon Buck Certificates to unsuspecting customers by Santa dressed in his summer attire at various businesses in the district.

Open 4 Business Grant. The Open 4 Business contest is an opportunity for businesses located within our MSCR district to compete for a chance to win up to $28,000 in grant funds to assist with a business development or expansion project that will help you grow your business.  Past winners used the funds to purchase a coffee roaster, portable toilets, embroidery machine, kitchen equipment, shop tools, computers, design software.  We will have a local contest with the winner getting $250. Click here for program details.

Virtual Small Business Lab.  We are one of just 15 communities who have access this free service. Businesses in the Main Street district can use this to access free mentoring by professionals in the same field. Coaching services are scheduled by the business to best fit their schedule.  Round Tables and Professional Development Panels happen monthly.  The Technical Assistance/Workshop classes do have a fee but your businesses receive a 20% discount. All other coaching services are free. To sign up or for more questions, contact Katie Mason.

To volunteer for economic vitality events,  click here to email Joe Stitz.


Annual Pledge Drive: The Organization Team began the second annual pledge drive on August 1 by sending out letters to those who had pledged an initial three-year pledge. A reminder that if you made a three-year pledge, the pledge was due by October 1. You can send your pledge to 406 Main Street, Coon Rapids, IA, or pay your donation online. If you have not pledged and would like to donate to the Main Street Coon Rapids program, click here to donate online or contact the MSCR Executive Director.

Volunteer Appreciation:
The Organization Team put together thank you gifts for the 97 individual volunteers who have donated their time since Main Street Coon Rapids began in August 2019. These individuals have donated 2,817 volunteer hours toward MSCR projects. We could not do all of the wonderful projects we do without volunteers, you are truly appreciated. We also surprised our 2019 volunteer of the year, Gayla McCool. The Main Street Awards ceremony, previously scheduled for April 3, was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Had the event been held, McCool would have received her award from Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. Instead, MSCR board members Quinn Wurzer and Bryan Spangler present McCool with her plaque and gifts. MSCR nominated McCool because she was a key contributor in Coon Rapids’ Main Street application process. She was involved in the initial informational meetings to learn about MS, worked for weeks documenting the buildings on Main Street, met with several businesses to solicit funding for the pledge drive, attended local training meetings and is now the chairperson of the design committee. She has also served on the Christmas in a Small Town committee for 12 years. If you are interested in getting involved with the Main Street Coon Rapids program, visit the Main Street Coon Rapids website or contact the MSCR Executive Director. Lastly, thank you to Cady's for donating the goodie bags for the volunteer appreciation gifts.

To volunteer for organization team projects, click here to email Liz Larscheid or click here to email Quinn Wurzer.


$500 Mini-Grants. Four mini-grants were awarded last quarter! Exciting. Nature Ammil and Cory and Keely Sanden were awarded grants for new signs. Cory and Keely were also awarded a grant for building façade improvements on their Patriot Trainer Fitness building and Jim Mohr was awarded funds to replace windows on the Brown Bag & Company building. Thank you to Creating Great Places and Dan and Anna Gudahl for donating funds to this program. Click here for more information on the grants.

Building/Business Inventory. The design committee is working on the building and business inventory. The information gathered includes collecting the history on the buildings along with structural information and ownership. This will assist in future funding and make access to the businesses more readily available in the future. If you like to do research, we could use your help with this project. Contact Gayla to help.

Commercial Property Codes. The Coon Rapids City Council is working through the process of public hearings on new commercial maintenance codes and ordinance. The codes that we helped create are intended to preserve the structural integrity of the building and property values while assuring a clean and attractive community.

Planters and trash receptacles. Twelve new decorative planters and trash receptacles have been designed for downtown to spruce up the shopping district. The planters will be filled with seasonal displays. We plan to order them yet this fall. Anyone with suggestions on a watering system/schedule for next summer or anyone who can donate watering equipment is asked to contact Gayla.

Boulevard Bounty. A beautiful fall/homecoming display was set up on the boulevard by the boulevard task force. If you have a chance, check out the Wizard of Oz scarecrows that stand guard over the mums and pumpkins! Follow the yellow brick road to a beautiful fall scene. With the passing of fall, comes our winter/holiday season. Plans and ideas are already being considered for how to transform the boulevard and Main Street for Christmas including a 14' prelit evergreen Christmas tree. If you would like to donate towards the purchase of the holiday tree, contact MSCR.

Grain Bin Murals. The art task force continues to work on two 360-degree murals to be painted on the grain bins on Main Street. Once funding is secured, the bins will be painted next spring.

We can always use more help and ideas. If you’d like to help clean up, decorate, make plans for the future of our Main Street, or have any skills you’d like to lend, we more than welcome your help. To volunteer for design projects, click here to email Gayla McCool.


Movies on Main. After several months of planning and over 60 hours of production time, we were able to create drive-in movies on Main Street called Movies on Main. A huge thank you goes to the Accu-Steel Fabric Buildings, Drago S.C.I., South Sign Co. and Mohr Construction for creating the mammoth screen and the Coon Rapids Public Library for sponsoring the movie. In August, over 220 people attended the movie "Trolls World Tour" followed in September with the showing of  "Remember the Titans".

Treats on the Streets. Treats on the Streets will take place Saturday, October 31 in two groupings that include a mask decorating contests - masks will be distributed at the CR-B School or can be picked up in the MSCR office. A mystery judge will hand out prizes to 20 mask-wearing children. 

Christmas in a Small Town. Saturday, December 5, 2020, is the 12th Annual Christmas in a Small Town. This year’s event will look different from years’ past but will still have several activities to make our traditional holiday festival one to remember. Tentative plans include shopping (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), a Lighted Christmas parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, grab-and-go kids’ craft, a drive-in movie and more. There will not, however, be a community meal or holiday concerts.5. Click her for details.

To volunteer for promotions events, click here to email Natasha Adams.


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406 Main Street, Coon Rapids, IA 50058 | 712-999-GROW | [email protected]
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      City of Coon Rapids
      City of Coon Rapids
      123 3rd Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058
      Phone: 712-999-7749
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