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Jennifer Recker, owner of J&R Fashions, stands behind the counter at the new location of the store.

It is not too often that something that happened in China goes on to affect people in Europe and even the United States. Over the last handful of months, that has happened as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has swept across the world. People are getting sick and businesses are closing down as a result.

J&R Fashions in Dyersville is a local business that has been feeling the force of people quarantining themselves, but an act of kindness recently helped them out.

A customer came into their shop recently and went to the register. He asked owner, Jennifer Recker, to ring him up for a $500 gift card. She was shocked at the man’s request and couldn’t believe what he was doing. After the transaction was made, he handed her the gift card back.

“I was speechless,” Recker said in a Facebook video revealing the story.

“Anyone who purchases over $25 online or in your store,” the anonymous customer said, “I want to be entered for a chance to win the gift card. I want people to support you and other local businesses.”

She said that people had been buying gift cards to support her and paying it forward, but nothing like this.

“In times like these,” Recker said, “you never really realize how much a community comes together and supports each other until it actually happens. Our country is strong, our communities are strong and there are people helping others every day. There are people out there that are amazing.”

This all happened shortly after J&R Fashions had relocated to 201 1st Ave. in Dyersville. After a change in scenery and a facelift, the store has a new home. Jennifer Recker and her husband, Andy, purchased the two buildings on the corner of 1st Avenue and 2nd Street.

“Even though it is located on the same block,” Jennifer Recker said, “the location is better. Plus, we purchased the building, so there is no extra expense there.”

The inside and outside of the buildings have gone through extensive renovations since they took over the corner. There is a visible difference at first glance.

“I believe that it has tremendously affected the look of downtown,” Recker said. “I hope that this has shown other businesses in the area that the city is willing to help spruce up the town’s appearance.”

One of the main reasons the store crossed the road into their new building was because it provided better visibility. It is now visible from popular locations like the brewery.

“We are now right in the heart of downtown,” Recker said, “and there are so many better angles to see us from.”

As far as inventory goes, the new building provides plenty more space. Recker hopes that this will help with her online sales.

“Compared to our last location,” she said, “we have the entire second floor to store merchandise. This will help us grow our online presence.”

The remodeled layout looks just as she thought it would.

“When we first walked in when we were checking it out,” Recker said, “this is how I envisioned my store set up. I knew this was the place.”

Dave Kelchen with Midwest Construction and Development, Rick Gotto, Joe Hollenback and her husband, Andy, all had a hand in the process, and she is grateful for their help.

Jennifer and Andy own the old Corner Drug Store building as well. She said the lower level will be used for the ‘If You Build It’ exhibit for the Beyond the Game festival in August while the upstairs is being made into a high level, two bedrooms, one-and-a-half-bathroom apartment.

J&R Fashions has had to temporarily close its physical address due to Governor Kim Reynold’s order, but orders can still be placed online at www.jandrfashions.com.