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#DSMlocalchallenge: 39 Ways to Support Local Businesses

Support Local DSM Businesses

April 17, 2020

As we all look to support our local Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses, you may be in need of ideas on how to best spend your dollars. Our business community, stretching from the west end of Guthrie and Adair Counties east to Poweshiek County, offers plenty of opportunities to spend on the best our region has to offer! Shop remotely online, purchase gift cards and find incredible items from business owners who call DSM home.

Support Local Businesses

If you’ve been following #DSMlocal, you know the variety of businesses we have in DSM. It's so easy to find ways to support them, too! Here's my list of 39 ways you can support local businesses and make a difference in 2021 and beyond:

  1. Artists: Whether home décor or coloring sheets for kids, you can purchase direct from local artists’ websites or from their Etsy accounts and have items shipped right to your mailbox. Laura Palmer and Jenna Brownlee are a few of my top local artist picks.Shop Local Artists
  2. Attractions, Arts + Culture: Digitally renew or purchase an annual membership or gift card to use now or at a later date!
  3. Attractions, Arts + Culture: Hunt for offerings to stay up-to-date with your favorite exhibits, shows, concerts and more, including the Des Moines Symphony, Des Moines Arts Center and Des Moines Metro Opera.
  4. Attractions, Arts + Culture: Find opportunities for family entertainment from  Blank Park Zoo. The annual Zoo Brew kicks off in June and is FREE for Zoo members.
  5. Beverages: Support local breweries, wineries and distilleries! Exile Brewing, Confluence Brewing Company, 515 Brewing, Winestyles in Ankeny are just a few you won't want to miss.
  6. Beverages: Hit up the drive-through for your favorite local coffee, smoothie, tea, etc.
  7. Beverages: Many local restaurants and bars are selling their alcohol and accompaniments curbside, including recipes for mix-at-home creations.
  8. Clothing: Order online to shop local boutique retailers for clothes, shoes, jewelry and more. Some have promoted digital try-on features using their social media platforms.
  9. Clothing: Don’t forget about consignment stores, especially for kids’ items! Call ahead and ask for help in hand-selecting items that meet your needs.
  10. Clothing: Let’s all admit that we’re probably spending more time in comfy clothes than usual. Local t-shirt shops to the rescue! Take a look at BOZZ Prints, Raygun, Locally Grown Clothing Co. and others to determine online ordering, delivery or pickup options. Check out this Locals Supporting Locals shirt.Locals Supporting Locals Shirt
  11. Entertainment: Make a playlist or two to enjoy whether you're hitting trails or hanging out at home. Scout out a local record store to purchase music locally and request pickup or delivery. Bonus: Find albums from local musicians (get ideas through #DSMUSA Music Mix!) and double down on supporting local! You can also purchase tunes from local musicians without leaving the couch using online platforms like iTunes, or even enjoy a virtual house concert!
  12. Entertainment: Check out your local hobby or toy shop for new ways to play at home. Look for puzzles, board games, educational toys and more.
  13. Entertainment – Support your local book store! Pick up something interesting to read — whether educational, enlightening or entertaining. Midwest Authors were featured at the latest DSM Book Festival, too. You can find out about them in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our Local Authors Shine blog series.
  14. Exercise: Spending more time outside means we’re planning to spend more time on our bicycles this spring at the Thompson house! We’re looking to buy a Burley bike trailer to use this summer and will be sure to research local options from Des Moines-based bike shops.Flower Arrangement
  15. Furniture & Home Goods: I’ve got my eye on a few ways to spruce things up around the house — including some new furniture. We recently decided to order a new table and chairs from Homemakers Furniture, and we will take advantage of their delivery serivce to have our new digs dropped off right to our house. 
  16. Gardening & Flowers: Why not add some cheerful color inside your home? Whether for yourself or as a gift, florists are still delivering fresh cut flowers to your doorstep. My hubby recently ordered flowers from Boesen the Florist to brighten up my day and our kitchen!
  17. Gardening & Flowers: Springtime is the perfect time to liven up your outdoor flower beds and garden. Enjoy time in the sun with loved ones. Call ahead to arrange pickup from a local greenhouse — such as Canoyer Garden Center in Grimes.
  18. Gardening & Flowers: Don’t forget about inside plant friends! I love that Art Terrarium offers plants, terrariums, planters and plant accessories like "The Plant Parent Coloring Book."Art Terrarium Plants for Pickup
  19. Gas/Fuel: Choose a locally-owned gas station. Kum & Go and Casey’s are examples of DSM-based convenience stores. Kum & Go even offers Mobile Fuel Pay through its app. Download it from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store or text APP to 39771.
  20. Grocery/Food: Support local farmers and producers by shopping the Downtown Farmers' Market every Saturday from May through October. The World Food & Music Festival is another way to try global foods locally.
  21. Grocery: Choose locally-owned grocery stores. Did you know Fareway is headquartered in Boone and Hy-Vee is headquartered in West Des Moines?
  22. Grocery: When you make your next grocery run, pay special attention to adding local Iowa and DSM-based products to your shopping cart. A few examples include: AE Dairy milk, Barilla pasta noodles, Pasquale’s Frozen Pizza, local beer and wine — to name a few! My shopping trip is never complete without a container of Wells Blue Bunny vanilla bean ice cream.
  23. Gym: Looking to get in shape this year? Join a gym, or purchase at-home exercise gear and euipment from local places. We recently purchased a treadmill from Scheels and an at-home free weights system from the local Play-It-Again Sports in Clive.
  24. Hair and Nail Salons: I love Halo Hair Designs located on Main Street in Grimes, and I’m really looking forward to some pampering when social distancing has ended.
  25. Hair and Nail Salons: Stock up on your favorite pampering products! If you can, buy more than you need now to have extra on-hand for the future and support local business owners today.
  26. Home Goods: As I look around our home, I can’t help but think of ways to redecorate. I’m daydreaming about ordering a “Happy at Home” box from local Historic East Village shop Ephemera — a grab-bag style, mail delivered box of happiness with things like something to do / something to smell / something to grow / something to soften / something that’s sweet / something to cleanse. Sounds like a perfect package to look forward to arriving in the mail. I might even send one to a friend for a pick-me-up as well!
  27. Home Services: In need of some upgrading at home? Find local businesses that can help with kitchen and bathroom upgrades, roofing or interior renovations.
  28. Home Services: In 2020, a collective focus on hygiene and cleanliness emerged. I don't see that disappearing anytime soon! Why not book a cleaning service to use as family and friends prepare to visit again.
  29. Home Services: Now is the time to upgrade your deck or build a firepit, add a playset or 10 to your yard and landscaping.
  30. Hotels: We can all look forward to getting away from home for a bit. Plan a staycation to support local hotels or buy a gift card for someone who wants to visit this summer!
  31. Massage & Spas: Stock up on your favorite products at a local shop.
  32. Massage & Spas: Treat yourself! Schedule something a few months out for yourself and a friend!
  33. Photographers: Look for mini sessions to make a lasting memory and purchase from a local photographer like Lemon and Lace Studios.Taste of New York pizzas
  34. Photographers: Get creative with local backgrounds, murals and decor! DSM photographers know their stuff, and you can showcase your family's awesome city along with their sweet smiles.
  35. Professional Development: Take advantage of trainings and webinars from Tero International, including workshops like “How to Achieve Winning Outcomes,” “Championing Innovation and Leading Change,” and more.
  36. Restaurants: We love pizza delivered straight to our doorstep from Taste of New York in West Des Moines and even occasionally order extra to stock up our freezer to make quick lunches.
  37. Restaurants: No matter what neighborhood you're in, you'll find unique flavors and local eats. Give the gift of local flavor using gift cards from your favorite eateries.Curbside Pickup at Stam
  38. Sweet Treats: Craving donuts? Cupcakes? Places like Crème Cupcake and Hurts Donuts have some delicious menu items!
  39. Sweet Treats: No need to curb your sweet tooth when you're in DSM! Chocolaterie Stam and Beaverdale Confections are both taking orders for new and old customers.

Count on the Greater Des Moines Partnership for economic recovery information and business and industry recommendations as the region moved forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about current impacts and future trends from the DSM Forward playbooks here.

This blog post originally published on April 17, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was revised on April 30, 2021 in order to reflect the changing business environment as we move forward and continue to encourage buying local in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Kristine Thompson

Since 2015, Kristine Thompson has served as director of marketing at the Greater Des Moines Partnership - the economic and community development organization serving Greater Des Moines (DSM). Thompson's role includes marketing, advertising, research and branding efforts for more than 40 Partnership-affiliated entities, initiatives, campaigns and events. A UNI grad, Thompson knows the Greater Des Moines market well having served in various marketing and communications roles at the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau for four years. Additionally, Thompson has a marketing agency background with prior experience at Two Rivers Marketing as well as Strategic Marketing Services and Amperage (formerly ME & V Advertising Agency) in Cedar Falls, Iowa.