Loyal to Local is the name of a new awareness campaign created to support local businesses in Eastern Iowa.

The program is a collaboration of local businessman Steve Shriver, CEO of Eco Lips and the developers of the Deetz mobile app. Their hope is to encourage shoppers to buy from small local businesses this holiday season to help offset the damage of 2020's derecho and pandemic.

Loyal to Local launches on November 16 with a growing list of stores, restaurants, and shops participating, including Brewhemia, Fong’s Pizza, Lion Bridge Brewing, Frolics, and the Map Room, among others.

SPS Printing and Atomic Imprint are promotional sponsors, supplying participating businesses with promotional items including window clings, posters, stickers, yard signs, t-shirts, and hats.

Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust is also supporting the Loyal to Local campaign as a sponsor.  “As a community bank, we see firsthand the financial struggles many small businesses are experiencing this year,” said James Klein, CRBT president.

"Loyal to Local is about reinvesting in our community,” added Casey Ealy, president of SPS Printing.

With its agricultural base, Iowa's economic recovery is pacing ahead of the rest of the United States. Iowa is boasting a lower unemployment rate than other states but is also still struggling to bring down the number of Covid 19 cases.

Ultimately, the Loyal to Local campaign wants to challenge Cedar Rapids consumers to buy from neighboring businesses and to choose local over national, big-box retailers. It's the lynchpin to local economic recovery.

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