State to expand small business grant relief

IEDA will not accept any new applications for grant program, but other programs still available

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

JOHNSTON – The state is going to pump an additional $20 million into small business grants for Iowa businesses that applied prior to the March 31 deadline.

Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham said Wednesday that the state will be expanding the grant program based on applications received prior to the deadline from $4 million to $24 million with the first round of checks being sent out Tuesday.

Five Lee County businesses received grants, including the Ridgewood Lounge ($7,250), Annette Whorton ($8,000), BMAT Inc, $15,500, Get Wells Corporation ($25,000), Hesler Inc ($16.000), and Meyers Restaurant and Catering Service ($10,000).

In Des Moines County, EBD4AK LLC, doing business as Farney’s, received $24,000, Hot Toddies ($25,000), Parkside Brewing Company LLC ($20,000), Schnickers Karmelkorn Inc. ($25,000) and Yarmouth Filling Station Grille ($25,000).

The first round of grants, worth close to $10 million in assistance, were sent to more than 500 restaurants, bars and breweries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is our goal to get them back up and running as soon as possible,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said.

Durham said the state received more than 15,000 grant applications with a minimum of 15 from each county.

“Every application was triaged and I use this word purposefully because it explains the entire process. We determined eligibility and the greatest business disruptions were awarded first,” she said.

“This program was designed to be short-term and a stop gap funding before federal resources became identified and available.”

The state still has tax deferral programs and targeted business programs as well as other forgivable and low interest loan programs at the following link: https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/businessrecovery

Reynolds said Wednesday as the rate of positive cases and hospitalizations declined over “the next few weeks” the state planned to dial up the economic response to that data.

The state saw 97 new positive cases over the past 24 hours for a total of 1,145 positives in 79 of Iowa’s 99 counties combined. The lab now has testing for 1,328 individuals, while 122 are currently hospitalized and 431 have recovered.

Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health said the state is still facing shortages of personal protective equipment and is looking for help.

“PPE Shortages are real. We’re continuing to look at all different avenues, federal and state agencies, and our manufacturing is looking to help increase the supply. But we feel pretty good about beds and vents, based on what were seeing.”

Reynolds also recommended the public wear masks in the event trails and recreational areas are getting increased traffic as a secondary measure to social distancing.

She said she hopes the state doesn’t have to mandate closing all parks and recreational areas due to over crowding and violating the 6-foot order and groups of smaller than 10.

“I hope not. We need that for our mental well-being. Get exercise and get outdoors but take a mask with you so you are protected that way as well,” she said.

Reisetter said the jump in numbers of those hospitalized is due to a new way of collecting data straight from the hospitals, instead of through public health agencies.

“We’re asking hospitals to report information directly to have more timely information on hospitalized patients. We’re seeing about 10% of total cases requiring hospitalization and that’s pretty consistent,” she said.

“And maybe a little lower than national reporting 15-20% general hospitalization rate. So we’re not seeing a jump, just more timely reporting.”

Reynolds said she was going to stick to her previous statements on school closures, saying state officials will review data and any additional changes will be shared with state schools at least two weeks prior to the end of the current two-week shutdown.

According to IDPH, one additional death was also reported in the last 24 hours out of Linn County. The 97 new positive cases included:

  • Allamakee County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Benton County, 1 child (0-17 years)
  • Black Hawk County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 3 middle-age adults (41-60 years)
  • Cedar County, 3 adults (18-40 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Clinton County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)
  • Crawford County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Harrison County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Henry County, 2 adults (18-40 years)
  • Johnson County, 10 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 2 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Linn County, 1 child (0-17 years), 4 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 3 older adults (61-80 years), 2 elderly adults (81+)
  • Louisa County, 4 adults (18-40 years), 5 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Marshall County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
  • Muscatine County, 4 adults (18-40 years), 5 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Polk County, 2 adults (18-40 years), 4 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Pottawattamie County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Scott County, 4 adults (18-40 years), 7 middle-age adults (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Tama County, 1 adult (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
  • Warren County, 1 elderly adult (81+)
  • Washington County, 3 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Webster County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
  • Woodbury County, 2 middle-age adults (41-60 years)
  • Worth County, 1 middle-age adult (41-60 years)

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