***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

I normally only send out newsletters once a week.  With the crisis we are in and with the quickly changing circumstances I have chosen to do more than the normal in hopes to bring you the most up to date information and news.  Today, I want to provide a synapsis of the programs and initiatives that are available to help people who are struggling right now, through no fault of their own.  I will also conclude this newsletter with a listing of the most recent news from the U.S. Congress regarding the federal Coronavirus Emergency Relief effort which has recently been announced as agreed to and may become law soon.

First of all, the most important resource that we have in Iowa for those who need assistance is located at www.iowabusinessrecovery.com.  This site has explanations and detailed descriptions of many of the resources that I will list below.  Lets talk about the federal programs first:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL):  These are loans that are available to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses and can be loans up to 2 million dollars.  Iowa was approved for this as of March 21, 2020.  Iowa applications are available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
  • CDBG Grant Funds:  Community Development Block Grant Funds are available to support infections disease response and up to 2.4 million dollars is available for these grants.  These grants are available for job training to expand health care worker pool, provide additional equipment and supplies, and to create expanded meal delivery service for quarantined individuals.

State Initiatives and Programs:

  • Iowa Small Business Relief Grants/Tax Deferral:  Applications being accepted now until 12:00 PM March 31, 2020 and can be used to assist small businesses in maintaining or reopening business operations, range from $5,000 to $25,000, must have employed between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020.
  • Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Relief Fund: Is jointly administered by IEDA and the Iowa Center for Economic Success.  The program will provide grants of between $5,000 and $10,000 dollars to sole proprietorships or single member LLC businesses that are also certified as certified Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) by the state of Iowa.  Businesses who are not currently certified TSB’s may submit a certificate of application and be considered for assistance through the program.  Applications will be available March 25 and will remain open until funds are exhausted.
  • Eviction Suspension:  Temporarily Suspends some evictions under the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
  • Foreclosure Suspension:  Temporarily Suspends the foreclosure proceedings, or the prosecution ongoing foreclosure proceedings.
  • Real Estate Industry:  Importance of keeping the Iowa real estate industry open for business.

It’s important to understand the Iowa Initiatives are meant only to help businesses for the next 30 days until the federal initiatives are approved and can be started.  With that said, what is in the agreed to bill that is expected to be approved by the U.S. Senate today, March 25th?  These provisions will not be immediately available but, if passed by the Senate and House, and then signed by President Trump will provide some, if not all the following to almost every person in the United State:

  • 500 billion loan programs for businesses for emergency loans both for large businesses and municipalities grappling with the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Unemployment on Steroids:  Unemployment will be expanded to grapple with a new surge in claims and will increase unemployment insurance by 600 dollars per week for four months.  This money is in addition to what states pay as a base unemployment salary.
  • Expanded funds for hospitals, medical equipment, and health care worker protections:  This will contain 150 billion dollars for hospitals treating those with coronavirus.
  • Increased aid to state and local governments:  150 billion dollars of federal money would be allocated for state and local governments who are dealing with the impacts of the crisis.
  • Direct payments to adults below certain income thresholds:  A one-time $1,200 dollar check would be sent to most adults making $75,000 or less annually, according to past tax returns.  A $500 dollar payment would also be sent to cover every child qualifying households.  It includes a payment for most adults and phases the payment out as people’s income increase.

Loans to Small businesses:  There would be $367 billion in the bill aimed at providing loans for small businesses

Author: John Wills