The Economic Alliance is committed to providing guidance and resources as businesses navigate challenges faced due to the pandemic.
We're here to help.
Determining how and when businesses can reopen and recovery can begin is being determined based on the guidance from public health officials. As businesses look at opening their doors again in the soon, we’ll continue to update this Resource Center with information on how to return to business operations and how to adjust to the “new normal.”
Looking for information on financial assistance programs? Reach out to Local Business Project Specialist Mike Lukan and Research and Analytics Specialist Laura Thomas to find out where to start. Other questions can be answered at 319-398-5317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reopening Your Business
- U.S. Dept of Labor Wage and Hour Division Guidance about requirements and protections of Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA FAQ and FAQ for Employers):
- Regional Workforce Survey on COVID-19 Impacts - Economic Alliance members are encouraged to fill in this survey by The City of Cedar Rapids, ICR Iowa, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa City Area Development Group, and Kirkwood Community College to help measure and respond to workforce needs in our region. Specifically, the survey looks to accomplish the following: Support businesses during their recovery; Identify changes within businesses to better understand the current landscape; Gauge business forecasting, including hiring information and community impact; Develop a strategy to work with community partners and businesses to support workforce changes; Help develop relevant services and programs to support local workforce needs.
- City of Cedar Rapids' Streamlined Permit Process Supporting Outdoor Service Area for Retail - Allows for temporary outdoor service areas on private property and public sidewalks to retail, restaurants, bars, and fitness centers like patio dining or merchandise displays.
- Iowa Workforce Development Resources
- MaskofWellness.com - A directory of businesses agreeing to keep society, and the economy, going with a positive approach promoting responsible tactics.
- Mitigating COVID-19 in Iowa Restaurants Recorded on 5/21
- COVID-19 Business Prevention Webinar for Manufacturers Recorded on 5/14 - Representatives from the Iowa Governor’s Office, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Department of Public Health will provide an overview of preventative measures and resources for manufactures as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes resources for reopening businesses in a responsible manner.
- SBDC's Back2Biz Guidebook
- SCORE Small Business Resilience Hub
- City of Cedar Rapids Reopening Toolkit
- Ensuring Safety of Water Systems After Reduced Operation
- Guidance on Reopening from the Iowa Department of Health as of April 27
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA
- Iowa’s OSHA-approved State Plan - Includes PPE fact sheet, guidance for retail workers and more
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines by Industry from the CDC
- How You Can Plan for a Safe Reopening from Inc.
- Design and HVAC Modifications to Help Mitigate the Spread from West Plains Engineering
- COVID-19 Disaster Response Fund - Local fund led by the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Rapid response grants to partners where resources are most needed. Grant applications for nonprofits closed April 15. View grant recipients HERE.
- Iowa Nonprofit Recovery Fund - Application now closed.
- Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Assistance Fund - Info & Application Requirements
- Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund - Created to support Targeted Small Businesses with zero employees. Applications will be processed in both order of receipt of application and submission of all required documents and Targeted Small Business certification approval. Businesses applying for this program must be a certified Targeted Small Business to qualify for funding. DETAILS + APPLY NOW
- Iowa Small Business Relief Program - Rounds 1 - 34 of funding have been announced. Review the lists here.
- Announced Sept. 2, an extension of the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program and allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist bars, taverns and other establishments impacted by the Aug. 27, 2020 COVID-19 disaster proclamation that closed bars in six counties. These businesses may be eligible for onetime $10,000 grant to help with cash flow during this difficult time. The Iowa Economic Development Authority is managing the grant and more information can be found at IEDA website: https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/Business/b...
- Iowa Economic Development Authority Business Recovery Resources - State, federal and other financial assistance options, business and financial guidance and resources.
- ICR Next Economic Development Webinar (recorded April 29) with Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and our moderator and ICR Iowa Board Chair, Lydia Brown, discussing state program delivery and anticipating Iowa’s road to recovery.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Created in the CARES Act, $350 billion help small businesses. The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses. CLICK HERE for the application form. Find lenders eligible to issue a PPP loan HERE.
- UPDATE 6/29: Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness including:
- UPDATE 6/17: EZ Streamlined Forgiveness Application
- Extending the time to spend PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks
- Lowering the amount that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%
- Extending the deadline to restore FTEs and payroll from June 30, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020
- Setting the repayment term for loans made after June 4, 2020 at five years
- Up-to-the-minute PPP FAQ (under Tools) from the U.S. Treasury
- BerganKDV PPP Forgiveness Calculator
- UPDATE 6/29: Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness including:
- Main Street Lending Program - This is a lending program separate from the PPP that is designed to assist small and medium-sized businesses with up to 15,000 employees through government-backed loans.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit Program - The CARES Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Employers who receive a PPP loan are not eligible for this tax credit.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) -
Businesses should work with their current lenders to determine exactly what offering is the best fit for them.
All businesses who have received or applied for assistance through the state and/or federal financial relief programs should properly document their finances related to the assistance in the case their business is audited over the following year.
HR/Legal & Employment Resources
- Unemployment Information from Iowa Workforce Development
- Guidance on Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Extension Under CARES Act
- ICR Career Collective - Direct and personalized support and resources for employers and job seekers experiencing changes in employment at this time. For rapid sharing of information among workforce partners, employers and job seekers, join the Facebook Group!
- Guidance from Iowa Department of Public Health on COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace (Recorded April 17) by Linn County Public Health
- Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division Families First Coronavirus Response Act Fact Sheet for Employers
- Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division Families First Coronavirus Response Act Questions and Answers
- Notice Poster for Employees
Mental Health Resources
- COVID Recovery Iowa - Offering free virtual counseling and assistance for all Iowans affected by COVID-19.
- Mental health resource for employers from Linn County Public Health
- See our Events Calendar for upcoming events and resources.
COVID-19 Related News
- 9/15 - Governor Reynolds Announces Adjustments to Mitigation Efforts
- 8/28 -Iowa Department of Revenue Extends Tax Payment Deadline for Certain Businesses
- 8/27 - Governor Reynolds Announces Tightening of Restrictions
- 5/28 - The Economic Alliance and Business Partnership Release COVID-19 Recovery State Policy Focus