Dubuque receives grant to develop online tool for visitors, businesses

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

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Pretend you're visiting a city and suddenly start craving a cup of coffee. Where do you go?

A new online resource in Dubuque wants to point people in that situation to the right spots.

Dubuque Main Street received a business innovation grant Thursday from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The $12,500 grant, which Dubuque Main Street must now match, will go toward developing and launching a new website for the city's downtown businesses.

The interactive tool will help connect visitors with local businesses and, in turn, help those businesses market themselves.

Jonathan McCoy co-owns McCoy Goldsmith and Jewelers on Dubuque's Main Street. He has helped lead the charge to secure this grant and is excited to see the online tool help the area.

"What it's going to basically put together for the downtown community is a virtual showcase of businesses and services and available properties," McCoy said. "Kind of on the business retention side, where we're keeping the businesses open, it's going to direct visitors and residents alike to shops, service locations, gas stations, libraries, whatever they may need downtown, they'll have an online, mobile directory that will get them there."

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