COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
March 27, 2020
STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA Rural Development Launches COVID-19 Resource Webpage
USDA Rural Development has launched a COVID-19 resource page to keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated on actions taken by the Agency to help rural residents, businesses, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.
March 25, 2020
USDA Rural Development Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.
Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief to our customers, partners, and stakeholders.
March 23, 2020
SBA Disaster Assistance Webinars for Small Businesses
The SBA’s Iowa District Office will host two Webinars this week to give an overview of assistance available to Iowa small businesses through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
The webinars will discuss loan program details, eligibility, application requirements as well as where and how to submit a loan application. There will also be information on counseling assistance available from SBA Resource Partners (Iowa Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women and Business Center and Veterans Business Outreach Center).
The webinars will be identical in content and both will be held from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.on their respective dates.
Attendees will join the webinar via Skype.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Join at https://meet.lync.com/sba123/tdlentel/FV4ZWJJY There will be a visual presentation, but you can join by audio only at (202) 765-1264 using ID# 118151981#
Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Join at https://meet.lync.com/sba123/tdlentel/FKK1FR1Y There will be a visual presentation, but you can join by audio only at (202) 765-1264 using ID# 480330157#
March 20, 2020
Grant Funds Available in Iowa to
Support Infectious Disease Response
As public health professionals, you work within communities and can assist in identifying the infectious disease response necessary to support citizens.
Please use this guide to determine if the federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) can be of assistance.
- No match funds required
Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA)
Contact: Nichole Hansen
email@example.com or 515.348.6215
- All 99 counties
- All cities are eligible to apply EXCEPT Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Ames,
Des Moines, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Iowa City, Dubuque,
Davenport and West Des Moines. These cities receive their own CDBG
funds and may also have funding available.
Non-profit organizations – letter application MUST come from city or county, but the money can be subgranted to a non-profit to carry out the activity.
Method of Application
- Letter on city or county letterhead
- Describe project
- Describe need
- Describe amount of funding requesting
- Describe why other funding is not available
- Include a statement that the proposed project is in response to the
Email completed letters of application to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Iowa Economic Development Authority
1963 Bell Avenue, Suite 200
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
Eligible Activities Examples
Below is a list of example activities. Please call to discuss your ideas to determine eligibility.
New or expanded public services:
- Job training to expand the pool of health care workers
- Provide additional testing, diagnosis or other services at a fixed or mobile location
- Provide additional equipment, supplies and materials necessary to carry-out a public service
- Create an expanded meal delivery service for quarantined individuals
Method of Grant Delivery
Funds available on a reimbursement basis after contract with IEDA is signed.
March 18, 2020
Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
March 17, 2020
Resources for Employers
We encourage employers to implement strategies to protect their employees while ensuring continuity of business operations. Find resources below on how to prepare your business for the impacts of COVID-19.
Stay informed and look for information from reliable and trusted sources, including:
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control & Public Health
- World Health Organization
- Linn County Public Health
Click here to view resources from ACCE, including the following:
For your business: Prepare for negative economic impacts.
- Capital: Create, confirm, or expand your line of credit.
- Staffing: Develop staffing plans for varying levels of customers and revenue (what does an 80% scenario plan look like?).
- Insurance: Check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and options.
For your customers: Make your place of business as hygienic as possible and communicate what you are doing to customers, so they feel comfortable visiting.
For your employees: Check, modify, and communicate HR policies regarding remote working, sick-leave, and compensation during health crisis. Try to ensure your policies are as flexible and non-punitive as possible. Sick employees should be encouraged to stay home.
For your workflow: Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences. Where relevant, consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time; and create and test remote employee collaboration systems (consider apps such as Slack and Zoom).
For your cashflow: Communicate with your landlord (or tenants) and lenders about expectations and request flexibility (better to have that conversation now).
For yourself: Eat well, sleep, and exercise. Taking care of yourself in this time of stress will improve your resistance to infection and resilience in managing difficult business situations. And of course, wash your hands all the dang time and don’t touch your face, or anyone else, for that matter
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Tips for Employees
- Guidance For Employers To Plan and Respond To Coronavirus
- Customizable Workplace Flyer (Please open this file in the latest version of Chrome or Edge browser, or Adobe software, to customize.)
What You Can Do to Support Local Businesses
There is virtually no industry that has not been affected by the spread of COVID-19, including locally owned businesses. Here are some ways to support local businesses at this time:
- Shop online. Many businesses have online storefronts that offer deliver or in-person pick up. Cedar Rapids Area Shop Where I Live features many local businesses selling a variety of products and services.
- Buy gift cards now and use them later.
- Order take out from local restaurants.
- Interact with local businesses on social media – share their content to your page or like and comment on their posts.