What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
FEDERAL CARES ACT
Paycheck Protection Program:
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
The following entities affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be eligible:
o Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards (either the industry based sized standard or the alternative size standard)
o Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of:
o 500 employees, or
o That meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500
o Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location
o Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons
The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
o Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
o This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%.
Per the SBA, you can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
For more information: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp#section-header-5
National Development Council Free Webinar, “Helping Entrepreneurs Complete Strong PPP Applications” will be held on Friday, April 17th from 2pm-3pm CST. To register, go to the following link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3706739976495407629
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Business owners should apply directly through the SBA.
An update received during the webinar has changed this from $10,000 per business to $1,000 per eligible employee. From an email one applicant received: To ensure that the greatest number of applicants can receive assistance during this challenging time, the amount of your Advance will be determined by the number of your pre-disaster (i.e., as of January 31, 2020) employees. The Advance will provide $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000.
I heard the following from SBA regarding this change:
This fund just ran out of money, so they are not accepting applications!
SBA Disaster Assistance
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The program offers a 3.75% interest rate for small business and 2.75% for non-profits. Business owners should apply directly through the SBA.
SBA Express Bridge Loan
Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. • Can be a term loan or be used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan. Business owners can find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.
The bill includes $17 billion in funding to provide immediate relief to small businesses with standard SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans. The SBA will cover all loan payments for existing SBA borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. For more information: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
Business Tax Relief
There are several tax relief measures in the CARES Act that benefit businesses, including:
• A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 crisis
• Deferral of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020
• Modification of Net Operating Loss carrybacks and carryforwards
• Allows corporations to claim 100% of AMT credits in 2019 as fully refundable.
• Increased interest expense that businesses may deduct from 30% of ATI to 50% of ATI
• Temporary suspension of alcohol taxes on spirits used in production of hand sanitizer in compliance with FDA guidance. Contact the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division with questions.
The business tax relief changes included in the Act are federal and will not necessarily automatically apply to Iowa taxes.
Department of Labor
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Employee Information: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
Employer Information: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave
Main Street Lending Program
This new Main Street Lending Program offers four-year loans to businesses that meet specific criteria and were in good financial standing before the coronavirus crisis hit. Businesses that have taken advantage of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program may also take out loans under this new program. Principal and interest payments under this new program will be deferred for one year.
Eligible borrowers for the Main Street Lending Program are businesses that meet the following criteria:
• Have up to 10,000 employees or up to $2.5 billion in 2019 annual revenues
• Must be a business created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States,
with significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States
• The Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF) is for new loans that originate on or after April 8, 2020. The maximum loan size is the lesser of $25 million or an amount that, when added to the borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt, does not exceed four times that borrower’s 2019 EBITDA. For more information: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/monetary20200409a7.pdf
• The Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF) allows banks to increase the size of an outstanding loan issued prior to April 8, 2020 to a business customer, rather than initiate a new loan. The maximum loan size is the lesser of $150 million, 30% of the borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn bank debt, or an amount that, when added to the borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt, does not exceed six times that borrower’s 2019 EBITDA. For more information: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/monetary20200409a4.pdf
A company cannot participate in both Main Street New Loan Facility and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility. Companies that participate in the Main Street Lending Program cannot participate in the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility.
Loan terms are a four-year maturity at an adjustable rate of SOFR plus 250-400 basis points with the minimum size of $1 million. Amortization of principal and interest will be deferred for one year. Prepayment will be permitted without penalty.
USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.
For both programs, eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications, including:
• Most State and local governmental entities
• Federally-recognized Tribes
• For-profit businesses
• Consortia of eligible entities
DLT 100% grant applications are accepted through a competitive process.
Grant funds may be used for:
• Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as:
o Broadband transmission facilities
o Audio, video and interactive video equipment
o Terminal and data terminal equipment
o Computer hardware, network components and software
o Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services
• Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
• Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment
A minimum 15% match is required for grant-only awards (cannot be from another federal source)
For more information: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants
Iowa Business Tax Deferral:
To be eligible, businesses must be experiencing business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the FAQs from the Iowa Department of Revenue and apply for tax deferral here. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, staff will work diligently to review and respond to requests. A complete application is not a guarantee of tax deferral.
*Targeted Small Business Operator Fund:
A fund has been created to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants up to $10,000 to businesses that are single owners with no employees that are also TSB certified, or have an application submitted to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) by April 10, 2020 to become TSB certified.
This program will continue to process applications on an ongoing basis until all funds are exhausted. Applications are processed in both order of receipt of application and submission of all required documents and Targeted Small Business certification approval.
*Iowa Small Business Relief Fund:
he program offers eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$25,000 in addition to offering Iowa businesses a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest. The application window for this program is closed as of noon, March 31.
Iowa Small Business Relief Grant award notifications will be made beginning April 7. Applicants receiving a grant award in the first round of funding will receive notification and instructions via email between April 7-10. An additional round of funding is expected to be available soon, pending availability of funds, at which point additional awards will be made from the current pool of applicants. IEDA will not open a new round of applications. Eligible businesses/applicants that do not receive a notification between April 7-10 will be considered for potential funding rounds in the future.
*These funds were included for future reference even though they are not currently accepting applications.
Iowa Legal Aid:
A free hotline has been set up by Iowa Legal Aid to provide Iowans some support that may be facing legal issues during the COVID-19 outbreak, including eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues, identity theft and more. The COVID-19 Legal Information Hotline at 1-800-332-0419. Callers should leave a message, and Iowa Legal Aid staff will call them back to screen them for eligibility. Those who are eligible for Iowa Legal Aid’s free legal services will be connected with an attorney; those who are not eligible for free services will be referred to volunteer lawyers with the Iowa State Bar Association. For more information go to: https://www.iowalegalaid.org/resource/2020-coronavirus-outbreak-what-you-need-to-know
*Department of Cultural Affairs Grant:
The Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund provides short-term financial relief to those in the arts, cultural and creative industries most impacted by state disaster declarations, natural disasters, and other forms of emergencies.
During the current funding round, the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund grants will be made available to support Iowans in two categories:
• individual Iowa artists
• including working artists, musicians, filmmakers, teaching artists, production personnel, and arts-based contract workers who have incurred substantial income loss from the COVID-19 pandemic and who are facing significant short-term financial challenges as a result
• nonprofit Iowa arts organizations
• that have incurred substantial financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic and that have a demonstrated record of artistic and financial performance
• that had annual operating expenses between $50,000 – $150,000 for the most recently completed fiscal year
*This grant will likely not apply to childcare providers, but it is another option for funding that could impact people you know.
Unemployment Information for Iowans
During this time, many businesses and employers are having to make decisions about reducing staffing and closing the doors of their businesses. This will impact both employers and their employees over the coming weeks so information about unemployment will be key. Each of the links below gives valuable information to both employers and employees.
Employer Unemployment Insurance Questions: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/Update%20Employer%20COVID-03.30.20.pdf
Worker Unemployment Insurance Questions: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/UI%20Worker_COVID-19%20QA%2004.02.20.pdf
Voluntary Shared Work Program:
The Voluntary Shared Work (VSW) program may be a viable option for employers dealing with challenges from COVID-19. The program is intended for use as an alternative to layoffs and can be an effective tool for Iowa businesses experiencing a temporary decline in regular business activity. Approved VSW plans may be valid for up to one year from the plan’s starting date.
More information can be found at: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/3-25-2020%20update%20VSW%20Flyer%20-%20COVID-19.pdf
Local and Regional Information
Jones County Community Foundation Grant:
Our grants support local agencies that need funding to meet the immediate and short-term food, clothing, health, safety and shelter needs in our community. Our intent is to award grants to governments, schools, churches, and 501(c)(3) organizations whose services, programming or mission will directly have a positive impact on those unmet needs of affected individuals or families in the community. Grants are not made directly to individuals. Submissions are reviewed in a rolling fashion. Completed applications are reviewed within 10 business days. To download the grant application, go to: https://www.dbqfoundation.org/donors/giving-center/jones-county-disaster-relief-fund-–-covid-19
For more information, contact Sherri Hunt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Business Hotline:
A joint partnership established between Greater Dubuque Development Corporation (GDDC), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – Northeast Iowa Region and Northeast Iowa Community College will help small business owners navigate the application process for local, state and federal funding. When a small business owner calls the help line, a team of coaches from NICC/SBDC and GDDC will provide one-on-one assistance to navigate the application process, manage paperwork and answer questions. Business owners may call (563) 588-3350 between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email at email@example.com
Lease Modification Initiative:
Washington Prime Group, the Columbus, Ohio-based real estate investment trust that owns the Cedar Rapids shopping mall, has joined with the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship in Chicago and members of the University of Chicago faculty to launch the Open for Small Business initiative.
The initiative recognizes the role small businesses play as a major driver of the U.S. economy as well as comprising a substantial percentage of retail tenants. To address the issue of near term cash flow, Open for Small Business is making available a lease modification template for deferral of monthly rent payments until struggling entrepreneurs recover financially.
The form is available at:
Woodward Community Media Advertising Grant:
Woodward Community Media has established a one million dollar advertising matching grant fund to assist locally-owned businesses during this most challenging time. We are committed to helping our locally-owned businesses reach their customers and relaunch their businesses in the weeks to come. We invite all to apply today for a matching grant.
What you need to know:
• We will provide up to $1,000,000 of matching advertising dollars. Grant funds can be used toward print or website advertising in your local Woodward Community Media publication.
• Dollar-for-dollar matching grants are available for a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $10,000 of matching funds each month. Program does not apply to previously scheduled ads.
• Grants will be awarded for use within the months of April, May and June. Woodward Community Media advertising terms and conditions apply.
To apply: https://www.woodwardcommunitymedia.com/grant/
The grant application asks for the publication that you would like to utilize and gives a drop down menu. Most of them are in the Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City metro areas.
Save Small Business Fund
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has launched the Save Small Business Grant Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the program provides $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.
To see if you qualify, go to: https://savesmallbusiness.com/
Jones County Public Health – Jenna Lovaas 319 480-9506 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jones County Emergency Management – Brenda Leonard 319 480-0617 email@example.com
Our team is here to help in any way that we can. From understanding more about business impacts to helping find employees during this time to working with businesses on some of the financial assistance programs, Jones County Economic Development is your partner during this trying time and all times!
Reach out to Derek Lumsden, Executive Director, at 319-480-7446 or firstname.lastname@example.org