The Iowa City Downtown District’s ILoveIC Retail Referral Program is an initiative aimed to reward community members for engaging directly with experienced independent retail stores that they would like to see in Iowa City. The referral program is intended to invite those that are passionate about downtown Iowa City to reach out to stores they believe would complement and strengthen the downtown Iowa City retail cluster. This non-traditional approach to recruitment is intended to inspire economic development at the grass-roots level.
The program provides community members with a $500 referral reward for any referral that results in a newly signed lease within the Downtown District, a $1,000 referral reward for men’s ware resulting in a signed lease, or a $20 gift card incentive for any referral that results in a new-to-Iowa City store owner connection with ICDD staff. Independent stores are preferred over chains and franchises.