Newbo City Market celebrates 10 years of helping Cedar Rapids businesses

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Newbo City Market celebrated 10 years of helping Cedar Rapids small business owners on Saturday.

Dozens of people walked around Newbo City Market to sample what the several vendors had to offer and meet them face to face.

“I always thought it would be great to find the thing that I could do for myself, I just never thought macrame would be the thing,” Stephanie Hanna, owner of Tangled Heartstrings, said.

Hanna and her family moved back to Cedar Rapids. It was then that she struggled to find macrame to hang her own plants.

“I could find it anywhere,” Hanna said.

That’s when she started making it for herself and some friends before getting a start at the Marion and Cedar Rapids Farmers Markets. This month, she opened her booth at Newbo City Market where she gets help with rent and one-one assistance from those heading-up Newbo City market.

“I would not have been able to do this without Newbo,” Hanna said.

It’s that help that has allowed 15 business owners to open brick-and-mortar shops in the last 10 years. According to Lending Tree, nearly 20% of new businesses fail in the first year. That number jumps to nearly 50% after 5 years.

“It allows you to take risks and test the market,” Sydney Rieckhoff, CEO of Almost Famous Popcorn, said.

Rieckhoff’s popcorn businesses started as a booth in Newbo City Market soon after the market opened. She said they never intended to make just popcorn and dabbled in making fudge and ice cream as well. Rieckhoff said they spent a year and a half in the market before changing the name from CR Popcorn to its current name, Almost Famous Popcorn, and opening a shop across the street.

On Saturday, Executive Director Julie Parisi announced a way that they can continue to support businesses like Hanna’s and Rieckhoff’s.

“An endowment challenge offered to us through the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation means that for every $3 we raise, they will match a dollar,” Parisi said.

She said that money would allow the market to invest in itself in order to ensure they will be around for another 10 years to help small business owners fulfill their dreams.

“Moving to a brick-and-mortar is something I’d need to talk with the marketing team about,” Hanna said.

Read More: Newbo City Market celebrates 10 years of helping Cedar Rapids businesses

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