Business Support Programs


The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance’s core function of Business Support is dedicated to creating a strong business environment to support all employers. The Economic Alliance focuses on small and locally-owned businesses to engage and connect them through networking, business and professional development programs.

2020 Business Support Programming

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance offers a variety of programming to grow and develop your business, continue your development as a leader, foster your growth as a professional, collaborate and create something new, or simply meet and network with other professionals. Check out the list for 2020 below.

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor

Please Note: As of March 16, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, many of these upcoming business support programs have been adjusted in format and topic. Please see the events calendar for event updates.

Day Session Title Presenter
1/16/20 2020 Trends in Marketing Vicki Dirksen - Plaid Swan
2/20/20 Focus on Employee Growth John Spanczak - Leverage. Powered by Clickstop.
3/19/20 Employee Handbook: What Should it Include? Brenda LaMarche - BRL HR Consulting
4/16/20 When Their Home Office Becomes "The Office" - Effectively Managing Remote Employees (Webinar Recorded 4/16/2020) Helena Long - Jet Engineering
4/23/20 Speed Networking - Registration Opening Soon --
5/21/20 Pivoting Your Digital Marketing in the Wake of the Pandemic Webinar Recorded 5/21 Password: pivot Joshua McNary - McNary Marketing
6/18/20 Beyond the Word Diversity: Impacts of Cultural Norms in the Workplace Anthony Arrington - Top RANK
7/16/20 Sales Creation vs. Sales Fulfillment Lee Roberts - Bergan KDV
8/20/20 Basics of Data Privacy: New Practices for a New Age - Registration Opening Soon Ed Leighton-Dick - Kingfisher Technologies
9/17/20 Mental Health in the Workplace Panel TBD
10/8/20 Speed Networking - Registration Opening Soon --
10/15/20 Media Relations Know How & Tips to Get Your Organization Coverage Melissa McCarville - Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
11/19/20 Dos, Don'ts and How To's of Employment Background Checks - Registration Opening Soon Buzzy Castonguay - C4 Operations Background Checks


Our Forums continue to grow, and are designed to provide peer insights and programming on a variety of topics and business segments. Groups are pre-arranged to include non-competing professionals, and topics of discussion vary by forum.

The format for these sessions includes guest speakers, group problem solving, and sharing of best practices. Groups meet monthly, with time of day determined by group preference, and location rotating among members or at the Economic Alliance. Get more information on active Forums.

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