Dyersville looks to fill empty storefronts, boost business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dyersville looks to fill empty storefronts, boost business

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DYERSVILLE (KWWL) -

It's a dream for many to own their own small business.

In many eastern Iowa towns, there are plenty of empty storefronts to make those dreams a reality.

Karla Thompson is the executive director of the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce, which recently hosted an open house for empty storefronts.

The Storefront Tour allowed property owners and realtors to provide building information and also encourage people to visualize the business space potential.

Dyersville currently has some 13 different storefronts in need of a renter. Thompson said that's the highest number of storefront vacancies the cities has had in recent years.

Thompson is hopeful word of mouth will help fill up the storefronts quickly.

"We use the local connection because those people know somebody who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody who wants to start a business," said Thompson.

Chuck Pierce owns a computer repair service company in Dyersville. He said up until Wednesday, his business was based at home. After seeing potential in downtown Dyersville, he decided to rent a local storefront to move his business in.

"People don't know about me, said Pierce. "I've been doing it for two years, and still they say they've never heard of me. I'm hoping by seeing a storefront, people will drive by and realize I'm her."

Heidi Huisman has owned a business in downtown Dyersville for nearly four years. She said she's hopeful other retail businesses will move to the downtown area in the near future.

"We'd really like to see retail and clothing shops, pet stores, toy stores -- anything that's going to bring people downtown here to shop," Huisman said.

Thompson said other chambers of commerce also take part in hosting open houses for vacant storefronts.

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