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Small Business Resources

Although these are unprecedented times for small businesses, there are preemptive steps that can help to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus as you continue to do business. Consider these resources for preparation and prevention strategies:

Financial Resources  |  Employer Support  |  Employee Support
Business Continuity  |  Small Business Resources Hub

COVID Recovery Iowa

Free Counseling and Support

You're not alone. Find support for coping with the effects of the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa provides free virtual counseling, virtual activities, referrals and help finding resources to any Iowan seeking assistance or a listening ear. Counselors are available 24/7. For more information, visit COVID Recovery Iowa.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counseling

SBDC offers one-on-one counseling that can be done virtually, including help with loan application processes or other business issues that this crisis is causing, such as distribution, sales, buying, marketing, HR issues and more. Find a counselor on the SBDC website.

Financial Resources for Small Businesses

Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program

Governor Reynolds allocated $40 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide financial relief for eligible restaurants and bars impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program will assist many Iowa establishments that were among the most directly and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures and mitigation efforts.

The program may assist eligible businesses that experienced a decrease in gross sales of at least 15% during the second and third quarters of 2020, compared to the same time the previous year, as evidenced by the Iowa Sales/Retailer’s Use Tax and Surcharge Return.

Grant award amounts will be determined using a tiered system based on the percent of gross sales loss. Award tiers will be used with a maximum award amount of $25,000.

Eligible businesses include:

  • Full-Service Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Brewpubs
  • Distilleries
  • Wineries

The online application will be available at iowabusinessrecovery.com beginning Monday, Feb. 1 at Noon and will close on Monday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. All applications submitted within that period will be considered for an award. The program is not first come, first served.

Download the Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program fact sheet.

Small Business Association (SBA) Funding Options

SBA is currently offering the following options:

SBA is preparing to offer the following:

Shuttered Venue Operator Grants

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program will be opening soon. It was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Additional Requirements

  • Must have been in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter must not have received a PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020

If you are a business and have applied through SBA for grants or loans, be aware that there have been several phishing attempts. Any email from SBA will come from accounts ending in sba.gov. Learn more. Report potential fraud at (800) 767-0385 or online.

Employer Resources

Employee Support

There have been instances of fraudulent contact tracing calls, attempting to obtain personal information. If the caller asks for money and/or requires your bank account, credit card or social security number or immigration statues, this is a sign that the caller is not a state or local official.

For more information for job seekers and employers on workforce opportunities, visit the Employment Resources page.

Business Continuity

View the recent topics listing below for more information and resources on business planning and preparedness.