State officials are setting aside $4 million for a “Small Business Relief Program.” It will provide grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses affected by closures related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham says businesses with between two and 25 employees prior to March 17th are eligible to apply, starting Tuesday.
“This is not intended to keep people at the same operating level for like 90 days,” Durham says. “It really is that 30 day (period) until we know what assessment’s coming from Washington and when that is going to be there.”
Governor Kim Reynolds has extended some tax deadlines for small businesses. For example, businesses with fewer than 50 employees can delay paying first-quarter unemployment taxes to the state until July 1st. The governor says these steps may provide small business owners with some extra cash flow.
“I fully understand that this doesn’t make up for having your businesses closed for a period of time or your customers staying home,” Reynolds says, “but it is our hope that we can help businesses weather this storm and, as governor, I want you to know I’m committed to helping them do just that.”
Small businesses that qualify may have deadlines moved for paying state sales taxes. The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering low-interest loans of up to $2 million to affected businesses.