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How Small Businesses in DSM Are Pivoting During the COVID-19 Crisis

Small Business Pivots During COVID-19

April 7, 2020

Christina Moffatt, director of small business resources at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, has compiled information from five local Greater Des Moines (DSM) small businesses on how they are taking action during the COVID-19 crisis. From working together to offering pickup locations, there are many ways that DSM small businesses continue to be there for their clients/consumers.

Three DSM Startups Create Opportunity to Give with Iowa Together

Nicole Torstenson, owner and chief strategist of JubilCube, has joined forces with the owners of ShowPal and VizyPay to create Iowa Together, a way to offer assistance to local businesses through purchasing gift cards from them and donating the cards to families in need. One donation helps two causes!

Iowa Together took shape after a brainstorming meeting between parties at the aforementioned businesses. ShowPal kicked off Iowa Together with a website and GoFundMe page, VizyPay is reaching out to small business clients to get them on the site and JubilCube is creating social media outreach opportunities to spread the word.

“This crisis will change Iowa’s economic landscape and we all need to do what we can with what we have to help. We can’t sit back and see how it turns out, we have to take action with our money, our time and our talents. If one donation can support a business while also helping a family in need, then we feel like we are maximizing the impact of that donation.” Nicole says.

To take part, go to give.iowatogether.com. There, small businesses can make gift cards available, families can sign up to receive a gift card. Anyone can donate to the cause. Contact nicole@jubilcube.com.

Bubba Teams Up with Local Businesses to Offer New Menu Items

Kate Willer, general manager of Bubba – Southern Comforts, says the Downtown Des Moines (DSM) restaurant is focusing on collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis. A few of the local brands that Bubba has partnered with include Crème Cupcake + Dessert, Winefest and Bubba’s favorite local wine lady, sommelier Abbe Davidson. Bubba’s receives different flavors from Crème to be added to the daily menu. Through collaboration with Winefest, Bubba’s will offer a virtual wine flight. Abbe will host a Facebook Live chat so guests can tune in while they enjoy their Bubba meal from home.

On Thursday, April 9, Bubba will offer an amazing meal for two, including a bottle of wine for $75. The menu is detailed below:

  • Pimento Cheese Plate
  • Coffee and Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderlin with guajillo pepper sauce
  • Creamed Corn
  • Sauteed Broccoli
  • Two Crème Cupcakes
  • Paired with Yalumba Barossa Bush Vineyard Grenache 

Des Moines Parent Connects on Facebook

Erin Huiatt is the owner of Des Moines Parent, which is always working to connect families in DSM. Right now, Erin is focused on finding local businesses to sign up to host Facebook lives on the Des Moines Parent Facebook page. The businesses then offer a fun activity for families or pertinent information for parents. In return, they promote their business to the DSM community.

Blue Gate Farms Collaborates with Peace Tree to Offer Pick-Up Location

Over the years, Blue Gate Farms has coordinated with Peace Tree Brewing Co., using it as a drop-off location for customers. Now, with the delay of the Des Moines Farmers’ Market, Blue Gate Farms and Ebersole Cattle are collaborating with Peace Tree to offer pick-up of farm fresh produce, eggs and beef, as well as quality craft brews through the VegEmail list. To sign up for the emails, visit bluegatefarmfresh.com.

Dogpatch Urban Gardens Pivots, Launches Online Store

Jenny Quiner, owner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens, launched an online store that offers locally-produced products just this week. Dogpatch has established relationships with the following Iowa businesses, and others:

All items purchased online allow for contactless pickup at the DUG FarmStand in DSM on Saturday mornings. Home delivery is also offered for high-risk customers.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Find these tips useful? Find more business tools and information by visiting the Business Resources page.

Christina Moffatt

Christina Moffatt serves as director of small business resources at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She most recently served as Regional Director for the Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC), overseeing Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Warren and Marion Counties. She is also the owner of the award-winning Crème Cupcake + Dessert, which she founded in 2010.