Social Media Helping SW Side DQ

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Construction is cutting off business for one escape from the heat in Cedar Rapids. The closing of a section of 16th Street N.E. is limiting access to one of the few remaining neighborhood Dairy Queen locations.

A road construction sign in front of the Dairy Queen on 16th Street N.E. in Cedar Rapids. A social media campaign is encouraging people to come here for treats to help the new owner survive a construction slowdown.

But ice cream fans have turned to social media to help the business owner survive a roadwork-induced slump.

For Karla Sibert, road construction nearby couldn’t have come at a worse time.

She has owned the DQ on 16th Street S.E. for a little more than a year. It’s been a DQ for 63 years.

Business dropped at least 40 percent when city workers began road repairs putting her investment in jeopardy.

Forrest Costello lives in the area and saw Facebook posts describing the problem and urging others to go out of their way to buy treats from the neighborhood business hurt by construction.

“Hopefully we can keep passing it along and sharing the information so these people don’t struggle too hard. They’ve been a cornerstone in the community for a while now,” Costello said.

Sibert didn’t know people were spreading the word about her dilemma on social media. She didn’t post anything herself.

But she’s constantly hearing from people that the word is out to support her DQ business during construction.

Sibert says she’s seeing a lot of new faces. And business has picked up again within the last week.

Her concern now is that the interest and social media attention don’t fade away too fast.

“I hope they don’t forget us and every time people come in and say they’re here visiting because of Facebook, that’s awesome. But don’t forget us because this roadwork is going on through October,” she said.

Sibert thinks comments in front of the Cedar Rapids city council last Tuesday about her roadwork issues sparked the attention and postings asking people to stop by her DQ.

However it happened, she’s grateful.