With summer just beginning, officially, on Friday, the harsh weather we experienced is still on the minds of many, some of them being local businesses in downtown.

Many of them continue to thrive, but others are struggling, and blame the weather conditions from this past Winter. Leah Johnson is the owner of the Rustic Boutique downtown, and she told KCRG, "as many times as the school closed so did the downtown,” said Johnson. “Nobody was able to get down here or they didn’t want to leave their homes."

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, in order to bring people back downtown, has started a "passport" program.

Get a free downtown passport at any participating store or event, listed below, shop there, get it stamped, and with 12 stamps you'll be eligible to win prizes and giveaways worth up to $1000.

  • Balloons Etc.
  • Basket Bowtique
  • Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market
  • Della Viti Wine Lounge
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library Summer Dare Wrap Party
  • Food Truck Fridays
  • Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival Fireworks
  • Gooselake Creations
  • Iowa Brewing Co.
  • Kamal’s Upholstery & Carpet Inc.
  • Kieck’s Career Apparel
  • Marie’s Jewelry and Accessories
  • Market After Dark
  • Pretty Lane
  • Rustic Chic Boutique
  • Simply Divine Premiere Chocolatier
  • Top Notch Boutique

They are now available, and you can find more information here.

[Via CBS2KCRG, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance]