A chart depicting growth rates for women-owned businesses versus all firms from 2007-2018. CREDIT AMEX 
Iowa ranks seventh among the states in the "economic clout" of women-owned businesses - a measure that combines the growth rates of women-owned businesses in the number of firms, employment and revenue, according to a new report from American Express.

Iowa has an estimated 86,600 women-owned businesses, employing 89,500 and generating roughly $13.9 billion in sales, according to the eighth-annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
The new report  analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau's  Survey of Business Owners and factors in relative changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It ranked South Dakota top nationally in economic clout of women-owned businesses. Texas and Utah tied for second.  Florida was the state with the fastest growth in women-owned businesses, followed by Georgia and Michigan.
New this year, the report looks back to 1972, the first time the U.S. Census Bureau provided data on
minority-  and women-owned businesses. Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses increased  31 times since 1972 , from 402,000 to 12.3 million in 2018. Employment during that time grew  40-fold from 230,000 to 9.2 million, and revenues rose from $8.1 billion to $1.8 trillion - 217 times greater.  
Iowa ranked fourth nationally in "employment vitality," a category reflecting employment growth rate from 2007-2018 and the average number of employees. The state ranked 34th in the growth of number of women-owned firms since 2007, with a 30.6 percent increase; fifth  in jobs created, with a 46.1 percent increase; and fourth  in growth of firm revenues, with a  77.2 percent increase.

Pitaya women's boutique
Downtown Iowa City recently welcomed another new retailer on the Pedestrian Mall. 
Pitaya, a women's boutique which caters to the "fashionista on a budget," opened Aug. 25.
The chain of boutiques is currently in 16 locations throughout the country. The company prides itself on refreshing its inventory each week, with a diverse selection of the most current styles.  
Located on the section of Dubuque Street now under construction, Pitaya fills the space formerly occupied by Root Pretty. 

"The construction surprisingly seems to be favorable for us, since it drives pedestrians right in front of our door," owner Michael Mazor stated in a release. "It appears to be a happy accident for us, although we can't wait to see it when it's complete."

Mr. Mazor chose the location for the store due to its proximity to the University of Iowa, as well as Iowa City's unique charm, he said. 
"Not only has our business been excellent, the Iowa City community has been remarkably warm and welcoming. We're very pleased to be a part of it," Mr. Mazor said.  

The Iowa Leading Indicators Index since January 1999. CREDIT IDR 
The index used by Iowa revenue officials to forecast state tax collections was steady in July, suggesting little change ahead in the pace of the state's economic growth.
The Iowa Leading Indicators Index for July held at 108.3. It was the third straight month the index has shown no monthly change.
Four of the eight components in the index were positive, according to the Iowa Department of Revenue:
 residential building permits, diesel fuel consumption, average weekly unemployment claims (inverted) and the Iowa stock market index.  
July 2018 residential building permits were 3.5 percent above July 2017 and 32.3 percent above the historical average for July (1998-2017). The 12-month moving average of residential building permits increased to 1,112 in July from 1,074 in June. Increases were primarily experienced in permits for single-family homes and structures with five or more units. July typically shows the lowest count of permits for all non-winter months, but this year is the highest month to-date. 

The agricultural futures profits index (AFPI), the new orders index, the national yield spread and average manufacturing hours were the four components that contributed negatively to the index. The AFPI was a negative contributor to the ILII for the sixth time in the past 12 months with a decrease in expected profits experienced by corn, soybean and hog producers, but an increase in expected profits for cattle. 

A Louisiana company has paid $14,850 to refund fees paid by owners of Iowa trucking companies, many of whom thought they were responding to a government agency threatening fines.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General's Office began investigating Compliance Educators LLC after receiving a complaint in April from an Iowa trucker. In May, the Haughton, Louisiana-based company and its owner, Scott Rister of Flower Mound, Texas, agreed to make the refunds as part of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Iowa Attorney General's Office. 
The company also paid $7,000 to the state's consumer fraud enforcement fund and agreed to refrain from doing business in Iowa. Compliance Educators agreed to provide refunds for 150 transactions of $99 each. The Attorney General's office is now issuing the refunds to a list of Iowans supplied by the company.
Motor carriers must update their information with the U.S. Department of Transportation every two years. They can do so for free at a federal website - but Compliance Educators charged truckers $99 to do so.
The company sent out warning letters to truckers under the name "DotService.com" and "DOT Compliance Group" and included exclamation points and bold letters:  "FINAL NOTICE!! ... Now you are PAST DUE to complete and file your Biennial Update with DOT ... Make no doubt that failure to complete a Biennial Update may result in deactivation of your USDOT number and may result in civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day, not to exceed $10,000 and this is serious!"
In smaller type, the mailings read: "DOT Service is not part of the Department of Transportation." Several of the carriers said they thought the letter was from a government agency.

Bite Squad, an on-demand restaurant delivery service, today announced its arrival in Cedar Rapids with a promotion that promises free delivery for a year to customers who order during Sept. 7-9.
Bite Squad will offer delivery from more than 25 area restaurants at launch, including El Rancho Mexican Restaurant, Bushwood Sports Bar and Grill, Roscoe's Pizza, Runt's Munchies, Saucy Focaccia, Red Ginger, Wasabi, Butcher Block Steakhouse, Zio Johno's Spaghetti House and Lucita's Diner. Delivery is available within a seven-mile radius of participating restaurant partners. 
Customers eligible for the Free Delivery for a Year promotion will receive a one-year complimentary membership to Bite Squad's subscription-based service, Unlimited. Unlimited customers normally pay a low monthly fee that covers the cost of delivery, no matter how many times they order. To receive the complimentary membership, customers in the new delivery area must place an order through the service between 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 7 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 9. Full details are available here.

"We're really excited to bring the Bite Squad experience to Cedar Rapids and to delight new customers with a year of free delivery," Craig Key, Bite Squad's chief marketing officer, said in a release. "We invite folks to try out our service during our opening weekend and, in return, they'll get free delivery for a whole year."
Sept. 4
Iowa City Roundtable , by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., H ilton Garden  Inn, 328 S. Clinton St., Iowa City. Roundtables are social  lunches over the noon hour. All are  invited to network and keep up- to -date with chamber and community events. Free for members . Call the chamber at (319) 337-9637 if interested and not a mem ber.
Ribbon Cutting: Central State Bank , by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, 4 p.m., 805 22nd Ave., Coralville. Help celebrate the opening of Central St ate Bank ' s new branch. Free.
Sept. 5
Cyber Security Breakfast , by Corridor Business Journal, 7:30-9:30 a.m., Coralville Marri ott, 300 E. Ninth St., Coralville. This year ' s edition will cover the latest in cybersecurity trends and  threats, managing incident response, cybersecurity insuranc e, risk assessment and more. Tickets: $55. To r egister, contact  Ashley Levitt at  ashley@corridorbusiness.com  or (319) 665-6397, ext. 311.

1 Million Cups , by 1MC, 9-10 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids  and MERGE,  136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections,  startup pitches and free coffee.  The September theme for Cedar Rapids meeting is the city of Marion. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MCICR.
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
The search for a missing kayaker resumed Tuesday morning along Indian Creek in Cedar Rapids.  CBS2/FOX28 news crews saw a couple dozen people, including civilians, assisting in the search Tuesday.  Water levels are rising along the Indian Creek which is causing flooding on the nearby Sac and Fox Trail.  One woman had to be rescued  from the creek Monday afternoon. Authorities say she was kayaking with the man when their kayak flipped.
A dramatic rescue ensued to save the woman who was stuck on a log jam.  Both the man and woman are believed to be in their 30s. So far their identities have not been released.
The Cedar Rapids Public Works Department is taking extra steps to address moderate flood stage river levels.  On Tuesday, the city sent out information saying the Cedar River is projected to crest Thursday evening at about 15.8 feet, which is considered moderate.  Public works managers said they are taking steps to respond to flood-related issues like plugging storm sewer drains, using pumps, closing low-lying roads and parks facilities along the river and harbor, and placing concrete cylinders over low-lying storm water inlets to prevent backflow from the river.  City leaders are reminding residents about a few safety precautions and areas of concern:  Current road closures related to flood response activity include:  A Street and 21st Avenue SW, Otis Road SW, Ellis Road west of Edgewood Road, Old River Road SW, and a partial closure of First Street NW between Penn and E Avenue NW. 
Park closures are Robins Lake Park, the Ellis Harbor boat launch, the back nine holes at Jones Golf Course, Manhattan Park Pavilion, the recreational trail from Prairie Creek to 16th Avenue SW and the Softball Hall of Fame at Ellis Park. 

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

An incredible stretch of active weather continues tonight with showers and storms moving through the area. Eastern Iowa is getting a break in the rain this morning. However, another round of widespread heavy rain is anticipated tonight into Wednesday.  Given the multiple rounds of showers and storms through the week, heavy rain has fallen and has agitated many area rivers and streams. Widespread totals of 3-5" or more of rain has already fallen and more rain continues Tuesday night into the weekend. River forecasts will continue to fluctuate given locally heavy rainfall so forecasts will need to be monitored. Flash flooding will be possible, especially if storms repeat themselves over and over again.