To Showcase Support for Small Businesses, Governor Reynolds Announces Second Annual Community Contest

To Showcase Support for Small Businesses, Governor Reynolds Announces Second Annual Community Contest Main Photo

12 May 2022

Video contest gives communities a chance to win custom mural 

May 12, 2022 (DES MOINES) - Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced the opportunity for Iowa communities to showcase their support for small businesses through the #IowansUnite Community contest. The winning community will be awarded a custom mural.

The contest invites cities, municipalities and economic development organizations to submit creative and inspirational videos showcasing how their community members support small businesses and celebrate the businesses’ importance to the community. Communities that submit a video have the chance to win a one-of-a-kind mural designed and installed by Iowa artist Ben Schuh that welcomes visitors to their shopping district or downtown area. 

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of Iowa communities,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Alongside these small businesses are the countless Iowans who show up to support each other and their local businesses. I look forward to seeing all of the amazing videos showcasing all of the unique ways Iowans support their beloved small businesses and their communities.”

To enter the contest, communities must create a short video and submit it through the official entry form through June 21, 2022.

Creativity is encouraged, but all submissions must feature local residents and small businesses and must incorporate elements reflecting each community’s unique brand of hometown spirit. Examples include storefronts, main street districts, notable landmarks and people shopping or eating. Videos may be created by an individual or group representing the community, but the video must be submitted by the city, municipality or economic development organization.

Following an online voting period (June 22 through June 29), the communities whose videos meet the designated vote threshold for their community will become finalists. Small communities, cities with a population of 15,000 or less, must have at least 500 votes. Large communities, cities with a population of 15,001 or more, must have at least 1,000 votes.

The finalists will receive an assignment, on July 6, to showcase their community spirit and will have five business days to complete it. An independent panel of judges will review and score all assignments submitted along with the video submitted with the official entry form. The community with the highest score will win the contest and a custom mural. IEDA and IFA officials will meet with designees from the winning community to facilitate the mural project.

“Small businesses add life and vibrancy to our communities,” said Debi Durham, executive director of IEDA and IFA. “This contest provides us the opportunity to help stimulate the winning town’s local economy by adding a mural to the downtown area making it even more welcoming to residents and visitors.”

For more information about the #IowansUnite Community Contest, including official rules and the submission process, visit

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