LOCAL UPDATE: Help for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
More than 42,000 people in Iowa filed for unemployment after the Governor ordered some Iowa businesses to close to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus. That number continues to grow. Many work for small businesses.
Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with details on potential help for those facing economic hardship.
The deadline for small businesses to apply for a special relief grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority is Tuesday, March 31 at 12 p.m.
“Our phones have been pretty active down at the Siouxland Chamber of Chamber of Commerce with small businesses asking for assistance for filling out the applications.”
That’s Brad Newton, the Director of Economic Development & Workforce Solutions at The Siouxland Initiative.
“A lot of small businesses are going to be affected, your bars and resturants, your small retail and service providers are definetly going to see an impact.”
Small businesses with two to 25 employees can potentially receive grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to offset losses.
“Make sure we are getting it out to our small business community when they have so much coming at them.”
Newton says more than 70% of the Chamber’s membership is businesses with a dozen employees or less and now is the time to rally behind them.
“We can go out and buy gift cards from those businesses at this time to put cash in their hands and bank account.”
“When you look at any community large or small the common thread are our small businesses. They are what make home, home.”
Newton says because no one knows how long the pandemic will make an impact, the Chamber and other non-profits in the area are working together to find other ways to provide support.
Newton says for now there are not similar programs available for small businesses in Nebraska or South Dakota. However, there is a Federal loan program through the Small Business Administration. Also, Iowa is offering a deferral of sales or withholding taxes and waiving penalties and interest to elibible businesses.
The IEDA Small Business Relief Grant Program is also offering a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest to eligible businesses.
Link to Program and Electronic Application: https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/reliefgrants