Iowa City named on Money Magazine's Top 100 Small Cities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City named on Money Magazine's Top 100 Small Cities


Joni Schrup had always dreamed of owning her own business.

"Working for other people, I think you always have ideas of your own.  This was a great way for me to take that leap and see if I could do it," Schrup said. 

Now, she is realizing those dreams.

For nearly seven years, Schrup has run a successful eyewear business on Washington Street in Iowa City called Discerning Eye.  It's an area she saw potential in when she first opened.

"Downtown Iowa City is such a vibrant and exciting area.  It's just such a great place to be as a consumer, and so as a business owner, it's wonderful," Schrup said.

Others are recognizing what Schrup has known about the area all along.  Money Magazine ranked Iowa City in its top 100 small cities to live.

"We have a very strong economy, great jobs, and the whole university influence on the community I think really affects how people feel about this community," said city manager Tom Markus.

The recession hit Iowa City's downtown, like it did the rest of the country, forcing several businesses to close.

Many others, like Schrup adjusted and survived.  Now, there's optimism about the downtown's future.

"I think that moving forward, you're going to see that Iowa City and the northside of Iowa City are going to be the destination place," Schrup said.

A new downtown district, made up of many of the area's business owners, is helping move Iowa City in that direction.

It's a vision that many hope is a recipe for growth downtown.

"We have great community support.  We're right in the middle of campus, so you can't ask for anything better than that," Schrup said.

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