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The Week in Social 7/19 - 7/23

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

Athletes from across the globe gathered to participate in the much-anticipated Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, including nine Olympic competitors that have special ties to Iowa. Track and Field athletes Yinka Ajayi, Kenny Bednarek, Hillary Bor and Michael Ohioze all spent time in Iowa pursuing their higher education and training. Ajayi is Drake’s first-ever current female athlete to compete in the Olympics. Bednarek ran for Indian Hills Community College, Ohioze ran for St. Ambrose University and Bor ran for Iowa State University. Karissa Schweizer, who holds the American record in the indoor 3,000 meters, is an Urbandale native and graduated from Dowling Catholic High School.

Track and field isn’t the only sport these Iowans and adopted Iowans excel in. Bridget Carleton was a four-year starter on the Iowa State University women’s basketball team and will compete in women’s basketball. Thomas Gilman of Council Bluffs, a three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Iowa will compete in wrestling. Candelaria Herrera will be the first Cyclone volleyball player to represent her home country, Argentina, for the Olympics. Ariana Orrego was the first-ever Peruvian gymnast to compete at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and this year she is the first Iowa State gymnast to qualify.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Des Moines the No. 13 Best Place to Live in the United States. Factors for the ranking focused primarily on the job market, quality of life, value and desirability of some of the most populous areas in the United States.

Des Moines ranked high on value and quality of life due to the low cost of living, but the area also offers a variety of cultural events and festivals. In addition, the cost of doing business is 15% less than the national average welcoming business from both major corporations and startups. With an average commute time of 20.5 minutes, and 22 high schools being recognized on the Best High School rankings, Des Moines is an ideal place to raise a family and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Vendors from across eastern Iowa gathered for the first time since the pandemic to offer fresh vegetables, flowers and handmade goods to eager customers at the Iowa City Farmers Market. It was an exciting day for sellers who had to market their fresh products online last year. Customers were once again able to interact with vendors in person, while also listening to free outdoor live music.

“This market has always been so supported by the community,” said Tammy Neumann, Farmers Market coordinator. The Iowa City Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. through October.

Iowa offers a pro-business environment that is attractive to entrepreneurs throughout the state. For the fifth time in six years Iowa has set a record for new business filings. This year, 33,260 new businesses registered which is a 35.7% increase from last year. Davenport, which opened 32 new businesses this year, seems to follow a trend of bringing in new business through revitalizing the downtown area.

“It’s a testament to how strong downtown Davenport is and it’s a good place to do business, so we were building on years of success leading up to this,” said Alisha Espey, program director with the Downtown Davenport Partnership of the Quad Cities Chamber.

Published July 27, 2021

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