COVID-19 Business Info
The COVID-19 crisis is having significant impact on our health systems and economy. Many at the federal, state, county, and local levels are working tirelessly to address the current issues and plan for the future challenges that await. As a part of your local economic development team, we want to keep you up to date on business assistance programs to take advantage of if your situation requires such assistance. We are partnering with the Greater Des Moines Partnership to lead our regional response and outreach during these challenging business activity times. The following is a list of information sources and programs to make you aware of.
Allowed Reopening of Some Businesses Starting May 15, 2020
Starting May 15, 2020, Governor Reynolds is easing restrictions on business activity in Polk and Dallas Counties and provided a summary of the substantial impact of the May 13, 2020 Proclamation. Please review the full Proclamation for the eased restrictions on how it applies to particular businesses. For questions on the Proclamation, please contact the Governor’s Office.
An important part of the conditions for reopening is the calculation of an establishment’s capacity. The Fire Marshal of the State of Iowa has prepared guidance for determining occupant capacity. The City of Urbandale can assist in providing the existing capacity of an establishment. Please submit your request for assistance to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-278-3970. The Fire Marshal will follow-up with you as soon as possible. If you have concerns about violations of the Governor’s Proclamation, please contact the Urbandale Police Department at 515-222-3321.
Regional Small Business Recovery Grant Program
The City of Urbandale is participating in the Small Business Recovery Grant program to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant program is a unique partnership with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Polk County, many private contributors, and several Polk County communities to provide financial assistance to our local businesses still continuing to struggle through these challenging health and economic times.
The grant program will be available for sole-proprietors or businesses with 0 – 30 employees that have had restrictions placed on their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant awards will range from $1,000 – $5,000 dependent on justification of need. Preference will be given to businesses that have not yet received money from other recovery programs as this regional program is intended to complement, not duplicate, other existing programs.
Applications can be accessed at DSMpartnership.com/covid-19/small-business-recovery-grant and will remain open until Midnight on May 31. Funding will be distributed based on merit and need, not first-come, first-served. Applications will be reviewed by the Iowa Center for Economic Success. Private donations to the fund are still welcome. Those interested in contributing to the fund can email info@DSMpartnership.com
Federal Assistance to Impacted Businesses
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The Act has significant business loan programs focused on mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on American businesses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce developed a program summary. To access the U.S, Government’s webpage for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, please go to the following link. The Paycheck Prevention Program (PPP) has also been created through the legislation to provide loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The Department of Treasury released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet to help answer inquiries about the program. As of April 24, 2020, Congress approved a second funding for the PPP program as the initial funding was not sufficient to fund all eligible applications.
Greater Des Moines Partnership COVID-19 webpage
The Partnership will be consolidating much of the business resources available on their website COVID-19 page. It will be updated frequently with business related COVID-19 information. Recently, the Partnership has prepared the DSM Forward program and have developed ’playbooks’ for various industries to provide guidance to thoughtfully implement protocols to promote safety in conducting business for employees and customers.
Iowa Small Business Relief Fund
On March 23, Governor Reynolds announced a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to Iowa businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the required documents before starting the online application. Click here to learn more and apply. Currently, all funds allocated to the Governor have been expended for this program. However, there may be new allocations in the future.
DSM Employment Ready Initiative
The Greater Des Moines Partnership launched the DSM Employment Ready initiative to assist businesses in need of immediate temporary workers and employees who have been impacted due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this initiative, The Partnership will maintain a list of Greater Des Moines (DSM) companies looking to rapidly hire for open positions, as well as serve as a resource for employers and employees with up-to-date information relating to State and Federal assistance programs.
Our partners at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) understand it takes new and improved skills to operate a business during these unprecedented times. DMACC has opportunities to participate in online learning programs for area businesses to get exposed to new skills. Most are free and you may access the list of programs on their DMACC COVID resources page.
Urbandale Chamber E-Commerce Site
The Urbandale Chamber launched https://centraliowa.shopwhereilive.com in an effort to drive business into the doors of our small businesses. The site is a fully functional e-commerce site that allows businesses, not only the opportunity to be listed, but to actually receive orders to generate much-needed dollars during a time when cash flow is needed.
All businesses, not just chamber members, are able to set up a shop to sell gift cards. This is our way of supporting all businesses in Central Iowa.
To support customers experiencing financial hardship or isolation as a result of the pandemic threat, MidAmerican has temporarily suspended all disconnections for non-payment. The company will work with customers who are impacted economically by COVID-19 by waiving deposits and fees for late payments and providing payment plans as needed. MidAmerican encourages any customer facing hardship to call us at 888-427-5632. We will make every effort to work with customers experiencing financial difficulties.
More information from MidAmerican Energy about their COVID-19 response can be found on their website.