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Shopko countdown begins; signs appear at site

By Dean Close · 5:03pm February 12th, 2016
The Shopko Countdown is officialy under way; a sign in the building that once housed the Vinton Alco store announed today that the store with a new name and Shopko's green color theme will open in 30 days. Other signs that the business will soon open include new cart bays, with Shopko's name on them, in the parking lot.

Council to vote on Shopko 'Class C' liquor license; employment ads continue

By Dean Close · 12:07pm February 11th, 2016
The Vinton City Council will vote tonight on approving a Class C liquor license with Sunday sales for Shopko, as the opening of the store in the former Alco building nears. There is still no official opening date set, but the liquor license request filed with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division lists March 13 as the effective date.

Dream Big, Grow Here: Vote for Benton County's Cricket Farmer

By Emily Upah, BDG · 12:34pm February 5th, 2016
When starting or growing your business, one thing is for sure: capital is a necessity to make your dreams come true. The Dream Big, Grow Here program is sponsored by the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Innovation and Growth in an effort to help emerging entrepreneurs in Eastern Iowa. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be awarded a $5000 grant, but a great deal of work needs to happen secure that funding.

Laborshed Analysis: BDG launches new tool for businesses and job seekers

By Emily Upah, BDG · 6:33pm February 3rd, 2016
Benton Development Group is constantly looking for new ways to serve as a resource to our local businesses and communities. With the recent release of the Benton County Laborshed Analysis and the ever tightening labor pool, we have decided to make a change to our website. The results of the study show that over 70% of our Laborshed area is turning to the internet to search for job openings.

Work continues on the new John's Qwik Stop building and John Ketchen is finalizing negotiations with a couple of franchises that will operate a small food service operation in the new gas station when it opens. Ketchen said the current plan is to remain open without interruptions, using the current building until the new one is ready.

There’s a new aroma wafting from the popcorn room at Vinton-Shellsburg High School, and an old association helping the entrepreneurs continue their success. The members of the entrepreneurship class who have been continuing the Vinton Popcorn Project will soon start selling caramel-flavored popcorn.

Boom Fest Vendors wanted! VU accepting applications for August 27 event

By Melissa Schwan, Director, VU · 10:12am January 28th, 2016
Applications are now available for the 7th Annual Boom-Fest celebration held in conjunction with the 10th Annual Boomtown fireworks show. Boom-Fest is scheduled for Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 10am to 3pm. We are once again looking for arts & crafts, farmers market, antique, repurposed treasures and food vendors to set up on 4th Street.

Action Academy: Economic development groups plan nine sessions with SBDC

By Emily Upah, BDG · 10:45am January 27th, 2016
Benton Development Group, Vinton Unlimited and Belle Plaine Community Development have partnered with the Small Business Development Center to bring a series of engaging educational opportunities to Benton County for our small business community. The series will be made up of 9 sessions that focus on getting, keeping and growing customer bases.

While there is no official update from the Shopko company on the planned opening of the store in Vinton, work is under way at the former Alco building. Painters have been working inside, applying a layer of green to the interior walls. In addition, the Iowa Workforce Development job web site has an opening for Customer Service Teammates.

Benton County Community Foundation introduces new look

By Vinton Today · 12:43pm January 20th, 2016
The Benton County Community Foundation has introduced a new logo. The Benton County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA), and the new look is part of CFNEIA’s release of its new brand and redesigned website. “As we looked at updating our logo and brand, the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa wanted to make sure the new look helped our affiliate community foundations raise awareness in their local communities,” said Jake Byers, CFNEIA Director of Marketing and Comm...

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