We Make a Difference: Hiawatha, Iowa

The city of Hiawatha prioritizes community involvement, attractive to residents and visitors

Rachel Bertone
On Sunday, December 8, 2019 - 07:16
A family relaxes in the city of Hiawatha, Iowa

When spending time in the midwest city of Hiawatha, Iowa, you may notice something. Despite being a growing metro community, Hiawatha offers an inviting, small-town feel with people who care about one another and the city. People are drawn to the area because of its attractive scenery, affordability and track record of growing quality businesses. In fact, the city was named among Sperling’s “Best Places to Live.” 

Manufacturers, businesses and professionals alike find the community to be a place that can bring success to both their organizations and lives. 

“That’s very important to us,” says Kim Downs, city administrator for the city of Hiawatha. “We make a difference through programs to support community hopes and dreams.” 

One of those programs is the private-public partnership between the government and local businesses in Hiawatha. The city assists with funding and offers financial incentives for new and expanding businesses through Tax Increment Financing with tax rebates. Plus, the young, progressive community is positioned in an excellent location in east central Iowa and encourages new commercial development. 

Computer hardware manufacturer Crystal Group and website development company GoDaddy are two local companies that have a great relationship with the city and have been extremely successful with a worldwide reach. 

“The city really works hard to help people build their dreams here,” says Kyle Kunz, chair of the Hiawatha Economic Development Corporation. “They take a lot of pride in our local businesses and share in the pride they have for their companies. The feedback we have received is that we truly are who we say we are.”

Biking in the city of Hiawatha, Iowa
City of Hiawatha, Iowa

With this strong support system in place, it is not surprising that no less than five companies from Hiawatha make the list for an annual event hosted by the local Corridor Business Journal featuring the Fastest-Growing Companies in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor area each year. 

In addition to local businesses, the city makes it a point to support veterans and, along with the Hiawatha Economic Development Corporation, is an official city supporter of the Home Base Iowa program. The program helps veterans transition by connecting them with employers or education opportunities. 

For people looking to visit or move to Hiawatha, the community is not only beautiful, but extremely affordable! 

“We’re a community of about 7,500, doubling in size during the day, and it’s such an aesthetically pleasing community,” Downs says. “We get to take advantage of being right off the interstate. By living and working here, you can get anywhere in a short amount of time.” 

Learn more about the city of Hiawatha and its economic development team.


The most stylish and grammatically correct member of the team, Rachel will help you with you’re mismatched outfit and point out that it really should be “your.” Ever the multitasker, she can go fro