Ten Iowa organizations are splitting just over $13 million in federal grants, to be distributed as loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs who’ve taken a financial hit during the pandemic.

Rick Hunsaker is executive director of the Region XII Council of Governments, which is getting a $2 million grant for a revolving loan fund. “We all know that our friends out there that own businesses on Main Street are having a tough time. We all want them to survive. We all know that we’re going to come out of this on the other end, but we have to hang together to be able to do that,” Hunsaker says. “Hopefully, this fund will be able to lend somewhat of a hand to those that need it.”

Hunsaker got confirmation of the federal grant yesterday and is hoping the funds are available by September 1.

“Hopefully some of our businesses that either don’t have bank financing available or that’s just not going to cash flow in their business model or they’ve accessed the PPP funds…through the federal government and they still need some additional help to keep the doors open and people employed, that’s really where we expect these funds to be used,” he says.

Hunsaker’s organization will be able to loan the money to businesses in Carroll and five surrounding counties. The other award winners can distribute loans in 56 other counties.

The other grant recipients are as follows: $4.675 M to East Central Iowa Council of Governments based in Cedar Rapids; $1.65 M to the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission in West Burlington; $1.529 M to the Southern Iowa Development Group in Creston; $550,000 to the Iowa Northland Regional Economic Development Commission in Waterloo; $550,000 to the Mid-Iowa Development Association Council of Governments in Fort Dodge; $550,000 to the Mid-Iowa Development Fund in Polk City; $550,000 to the North Iowa Area Council of Governments in Mason City; $550,000 to the Southwest Iowa Planning Council in Atlantic; $549,831 to the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission in Postville.

(By Chantelle Grove, KCIM, Carroll; Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson also contributed to story)