The spring and summer months see a lot of construction here in Eastern Iowa, which can mean bad news for local businesses. Unfortunately, locally-owned businesses in both Cedar Rapids and Marion have already been negatively impacted by road closures and torn up streets, so it's more important than ever to show them your support!

According to a recent article from KCRG, local celebrity Joe Sample has teamed up with Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust to help boost traffic at some of these impacted businesses with a new campaign called "Cookies for Construction." The concept is pretty simple. Every Friday, Joe stops out at a predetermined place to hand out 20 gift cards worth $10 each. Oh yeah, and there's free cookies from Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, too!

So far, 'Cookies for Construction' has taken place at two local businesses: Chophouse Downtown in Cedar Rapids and Short's Burger and Shine in Marion. The owner of Chophouse Downtown told KCRG:

”Once they started this construction our business sales dropped dramatically and we’ve had to cut a lot of our staff hours and that you know they rely on this income to take care of their families."

You may have to park a little bit farther away from some of these places than you usually do, but the minor inconvenience will ensure that these businesses are still around when the construction is complete.

The schedule for 'Cookies for Construction' is already set! Here are all of the dates and locations on the calendar:

  • September 2nd

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Looking to try something new the next time you go out to eat? There are plenty of options here in Eastern Iowa! Whether you're in the mood for Chinese food, Mexican food, breakfast, sushi, or burgers, we've got you covered. Here are 18 restaurants that have opened in the area so far in 2022:

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On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.