Iowa now has 105 cases of COVID-19, according to Governor Kim Reynolds. At an afternoon press conference today, Reynolds continued to ask for non-essential workers to stay home and only leave the house for necessities. She also talked about some new efforts to help Iowa small businesses. The governor announced an unemployment insurance tax extension to assist small businesses
They can now apply for up to $25,000 in state grants to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Iowa lawmakers approved $4 million dollars in disaster money earlier this month that will provide some of the money, and some will come from existing money in the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Businesses with between 2 and 25 employees prior to March 17 can apply for the grant. Governor Reynolds said there are other advantages to receiving the grant.
“The Iowa Department of Revenue will automatically extend the sales and withholding tax deadline for any business that gets a grant, and will consider an extension for any business that gets a grant. In addititon, Iowa Workforce Development will allow businesses with 50 or fewer employees to delay their unemployment tax payments for the first quarter until July 31.”
Economic Development Authority Director Debbie Durham said most unemployment claims have been from consumer-facing industries like accommodations and food service. Beth Townsend of Iowa Workforce Development called the number of unemployment claims "unprecedented" and "staggering."