Click Here for COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Marion Economic Development Corporation has created a comprehensive resource page in response to COVID-19. Learn more about planning, preparing, preventing, and recovering. As information is available, this site is updated several times a day.

Video Resources

View more videos

Event Resources

Please see all online events and webinars related to COVID-19 here

Financial Resources 

The CARES Act  & Payment Protection Program

4/3/20 UPDATE: Local lending institutions now have final guidance from the SBA on taking applications for PPP, the Payment Protection Program. Reach out to your financial institution immediately in order to apply for a PPP Loan. Qualifying businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including sole proprietors, private nonprofit organizations and veterans organizations, may apply for forgivable loans of up to $10 million. Beginning April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals may apply for funds.  Small business owners must work with their local financial institution to apply for these funds

It is also important to note that small businesses with an existing 7a loan in a “regular servicing status” may have automatic relief of payment obligations for a six month period. If you have not contacted your relationship manager at your financial institution, it’s one of the more important phone calls that you need to make.

Additionally, for businesses who have applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, there is now a $10,000 forgivable advance/grant that you will automatically receive from the SBA for applying to this disaster loan program. This new provision became effective Monday, March 30th. For anyone who applied for a EIDL loan prior to March 30th, you will need to go back to the SBA website and reapply with a MUCH SIMPLIFIED FORM. Even if you are approved for EIDL loan and choose to turn it down, SBA representatives advise you will still qualify for the $10,000 grant.

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Over the past few weeks, Congress has passed three total phases of assistance for Americans in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Phase One (signed by President Trump on March 6th) provided critical upfront assistance to shore up the federal government’s response to the outbreak and provided $20 million for SBA loans and $20 million for SBA operations.

Phase Two (signed into law by President Trump on March 18th) has several provisions, but the key provision you are likely to hear about from your members relates to the expansion of required paid sick and medical leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Read more

Phase Three (signed into law by President Trump on March 27th) is a $2.3 trillion package and includes a wide array of key provisions. It also referred to as the CARES Act. Please find attached three documents that do a nice job of highlighting the key provisions of the bill, specifically the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Loan Program, which will provide financial assistance through 100% SBA backed loans.

Summary of CARES Act from the Iowa Economic Development Authority

CARES Act Assistance for Small Business

Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

The Difference Between Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

Who qualifies

  • Businesses with 500 or less employees.
  • Businesses that meet current SBA size standards.
  • Self-employed individuals and “gig economy” workers.
  • Certain nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) orgs. and 501(c)(19) veteran orgs.
  • Tribal businesses with under 500 employees.

How much is available? Initially loaned through the SBA 7(a) program, but with 100% government guarantee, for monthly payroll costs for 2 1/2 months, not to exceed $10 million. Payroll costs exclude compensation paid to individuals, including the self-employed, above $100,000 a year. The borrower shall have a portion of the loan forgiven in the amount equal to their payroll costs, interest payments on mortgages, rent payments and utility payments between Feb. 15 and June 30, 2020. Loan forgiveness will be reduced if the borrower reduces employment by a ratio similar to their reduction in employment or if borrower reduces salaries and wages by more than 25%.

What can the loans be used for? 

  • Payroll costs (salary, wages, and payment of cash tips up to annual rate of $100,000 per employee);
  • Continuation of health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • Employee salaries, commissions, or similar compensations;
  • Payments of interest on mortgage obligations;
  • Rent, including rent under lease agreement;
  • Utilities
  • Existing allowable uses under 7(a) program, which includes purchasing inventory, supplies, raw materials, and working capital. 

Understanding the PPP Small Business Loans

CHANGES to Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The following changes have been made to this existing program, administered by the SBA.

  • For businesses who have applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, there is now a $10,000 forgivable advance/grant that you will automatically receive from the SBA for applying to this disaster loan program. This new provision became effective Monday, March 30th. For anyone who applied for a EIDL loan prior to March 30th, you will need to go back to the SBA website and reapply with a MUCH SIMPLIFIED FORM. Even if you are approved for EIDL loan and choose to turn it down, SBA representatives advise you will still qualify for the $10,000 grant.
  • Loans can be made based solely on credit scores.
  • Loans are now made available to all nonprofits, including 501(c)(6) organizations.
  • Loans below $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
  • Borrowers can receive $10,000 cash advances that are forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply
  • chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses. 

APPLY HERE 

Unemployment Programs

The CARES Act extends unemployment insurance by 13 weeks and includes a four-month enhancement of benefits, all covered by the federal government. Individuals must provide certification that he or she are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance, but is unemployed or underemployed due to coronavirus. Additionally, upon agreement between a state, an additional $600 per worker per week of unemployment compensation is available through July 31, 2020.

APPLY HERE

More Information

The CARES Act includes a number of other provisions that are summarized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. You can find that information HERE.

Employee Retention Tax Credit 

On March 31st, the U.S. Treasury Department launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

LEARN IF YOU QUALIFY & HOW THE CREDIT IS CALCULATED

READ THIS OVERVIEW FROM THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

NOTE: Employers who receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan are not eligible for this tax credit.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Assistance Loans - APPLY NOW

The following changes have been made to this existing program with the passage of the CARES Act on March 27th.

  • For businesses who have applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, there is now a $10,000 forgivable advance/grant that you will automatically receive from the SBA for applying to this disaster loan program. This new provision became effective Monday, March 30th. For anyone who applied for a EIDL loan prior to March 30th, you will need to go back to the SBA website and reapply with a MUCH SIMPLIFIED FORM. Even if you are approved for EIDL loan and choose to turn it down, SBA representatives advise you will still qualify for the $10,000 grant.
  • Loans can be made based solely on credit scores.
  • Loans are now made available to all nonprofits, including 501(c)(6) organizations.
  • Loans below $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
  • Borrowers can receive $10,000 cash advance/grant that is forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses. 

On March 21, 2020 the State of Iowa officially received a disaster declaration through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small business owners in Iowa can now apply for a low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan to help cover expenses due to the Coronavirus. Economic injury means a business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses.

EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Your loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company's financial needs, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. Interest rates on EIDLs will not exceed 4 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment terms are determined by your ability to repay the loan.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since the recording of our webinar, the SBA has made two significant changes to the program.

  1. NO tax returns are required to be uploaded at the time of application regardless of size.
  2. According to SBA representatives, the SBA is not requiring personal assets to be used as collateral.

INFORMATION IF ONLINE SYSTEM IS DOWN: When the online application portal is not available, business owners and private nonprofits can still apply for an EIDL loan by submitting their disaster loan forms to the SBA via email or by regular mail. Please go to https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance for more instructions. Users can access the required forms (in English or Spanish) by clicking the link https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html. Applicants should complete the fillable PDF forms and save them on their computer, and then email the completed forms to disasterloans@sba.gov or mail physical copies to the SBA at this address:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd.
Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

NOTE: After applicants have completed the PDF versions of application forms, people should double-check to see if the online Electronic Loan Application has been restored before sending the PDF forms to the SBA via email or regular mail. If it turns out that the applicant can log-in to the Electronic Loan Application at that point, they should transfer the information they typed into the PDF version of the forms and enter the information into the Disaster Loan Application Portal. While this may be duplicative work, the Disaster Loan applications submitted through the portal will take less time for the SBA to process.

WATCH THE WEBINAR - SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS OVERVIEW

AUDIO ONLY - SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS OVERVIEW

 DOWNLOAD SLIDES FROM MARCH 23 WEBINAR - SBA DISASTER ASSISTANCE LOAN INFORMATION

APPLY FOR SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER ASSISTANCE LOAN

Iowa Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund - APPLY NOW

NOTE: YOU MUST BE A DESIGNATED TARGETED SMALL BUSINESS TO APPLY FOR THESE DOLLARS

The Iowa Economic Development Authority has created a fund to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$10,000 to businesses that are sole proprietors or single-member LLCs that are also TSB certified, or have an application submitted to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) by April 10, 2020 to become TSB certified.

This program will continue to process applications on an ongoing basis until all funds are exhausted. Applications are processed in both order of receipt of application and submission of all required documents and Targeted Small Business certification approval. 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND APPLY  

Iowa Business Tax Deferral

The application for deferral of the eligible taxes and waiver of penalty and interest remains open. The Iowa Department of Revenue will review each application as applicable, to determine if it is appropriate to grant a deferral of the eligible taxes and waiver of penalty and interest.

Eligibility

  • Must be experiencing business disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic

How to Apply

APPLICATION WINDOW CLOSED - Iowa Small Business Relief Fund

4-8-20 Update: Today Governor Reynolds announced that the Small Business Relief Program at the Iowa Economic Development Authority is being expanded from $4-million available to $24-million.  Applications were received in March from nearly 14,000 Iowa businesses requesting $148M in assistance. The Governor has expanded the program by utilizing the Economic Emergency Fund under powers granted to her by the legislature. No new applications are being accepted at this time. The 14,000 applications received were initially triaged based on eligibility and greatest revenue disruption.  On Tuesday, April 7th the state sent out 503 award notices. Additional notices will be sent out in the next two days from the CURRENT pool of applicants. Eligible businesses/applicants that do not receive a notification between April 7-10 will be considered for potential funding rounds in the future. 

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The application window for this program closed at noon on March 31st. 

March 23 - Governor Reynolds has announced the launch of a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that provides financial assistance to small businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$25,000 in addition to offering Iowa businesses a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest. The tax deferral program is available to businesses of all sizes.

Iowa Small Business Grant Program - To be eligible for a small business relief grant, eligible businesses must:  

  • Be experiencing business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Have employed between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020 

The Small Business Relief Grants will assist eligible businesses in maintaining operations or reopening business following the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds may not be used to pay debts incurred prior to March 17, 2020. The Iowa Economic Development Authority will review grant applications for eligibility and will determine the grant amount by the level of impact including loss in sales revenue and employees. Notification of award decisions and disbursement of grant funds will be expedited.

Tax Assistance: The Iowa Department of Revenue will review each application as applicable, to determine if it is appropriate to grant a deferral of the eligible taxes and waiver of penalty and interest.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A PROGRAM FAQ

The dual application IS AVAILABLE NOW AT THIS LINK. The application deadline is Tuesday, March 31, at 12 p.m.  THE PROGRAM MAY BE RESTRICTED DUE TO FUNDING AVAILABILITY.

   

 

CLICK HERE if you are an employer seeking to fill TEMPORARY JOB OPENINGS


Latest News

4-08-20       Updated List of Closure Orders Per Governor Reynolds

4-08-20       Iowa Small Business Relief Tax Deferral Program Still Accepting Applications

4-07-20       Marion Extends Closure of City Facilities Through April 30

4-07-20       Updates to Iowa's Voluntary Shared Work Program

4-06-20       Iowa Workforce Development Outlines CARES Act Benefits & Implementation

4-06-20       Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing State Public Health Emergency Declaration, ordering additional closures

4-06-20       Latest Business Closures - READ THE GOVERNOR'S PROCLAMATION

4-02-20       Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing State Public Health Emergency Declaration

4-02-20       Marion Parks Department Issues Closure Reminders

3-29-20       The CARES Act & Filing For Unemployment (status update from IWD) 

Other recent business news headlines

3-27-20       Federal Policy Update: Details on Stimulus Bill and Guidance on Business Tax Credits and Employee Leave

3-27-20       RSM Recorded Webinars Now Available Online

3-26-20       Gov. Reynolds Signs New Proclamation Adding New Retail Restrictions

3-25-20       Park Playgrounds and Outdoor Exercise Equipment Temporarily Closed in Marion

3-25-20       Update on Federal Government Stimulus Plan (from our Public Policy Partners at the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance

3-24-20       Mayor Declares Local State of Emergency in Marion

3-23-20       Unemployment Insurance Tax Extension to Assist Small Businesses

3-22-20       Governor Signs Additional Health Emergency Declaration - New Business Closings

3-21-20       U.S. Small Business Administration Issues Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Iowa

3-20-20       Explanation of Federal Government Response (from our Public Policy Partners at the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance)

3-20-20       Gov. Reynolds signs additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration

3-20-20       U.S. Government Announces Plan to Implement Paid Leave For Works & Tax Credits  

3-19-20       Iowa to extend filing and payment deadline for income tax and other tax types

3-19-20       Iowa to extend income tax withholding deposit due date

3-19-20       Explanation of Congressional Action on Coronavirus Response

3-18-20       RSM Launches Free Weekly Webcast Series

3-18-20       Tax News from the Iowa Department of Revenue

3-17-20       Governor signs legislation to fund key services, combat COVID19 spread

3-17-20       Governor Issues State of Public Health Disaster Emergency

3-16-20       State Assistance Announced for Employees & Employers Affected by Layoffs

3-16-20       Marion Requesting Bars/Restaurants Limit Patron Activity

3-13-20       Information for Alliant Energy Utility Customers

  


Information from Our Trusted Partners

City of Marion

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Workforce Development (unemployment information for employers and workers)

CDC Guidance for Workplaces, Schools, & Community Locations

Linn County Public Health Department

Review the Iowa Department of Public Health’s workplace considerations 


Ways to Support the Retail Business Community

Marion Delivery, Carry-Out, & Curbside

Shop Where I LIve - Buy Online from Local Retailers

Marion Chamber of Commerce


Business Resources

Plan & Prepare

  • Review your emergency plans.
  • Discuss plans and contingencies, including the need to work remotely, flex hours and consider the possibility of temporary office/store closures.
  • Consider flexible policies for those that have absences due to their own illness or their family members.
  • Review Iowa Department of Public Health’s workplace considerations.

Assuming you have already taken the steps outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some additional, timely tips:

Operations & Financing

          SBA Disaster Assistance Handout

People & Workforce

Iowa Workforce Development Outlines CARES Act Benefits & Implementation

VIDEO - Unemployment Insurance Webinar for EMPLOYEES

Iowa Workforce Development Q&A - Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Workers

Iowa Workforce Development Q&A - Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Employers

Voluntary Shared Work Program - Iowa Workforce Development

Health Insurance - Information for individuals who may have lost healthcare coverage through employment change

CHILDCARE AVAILABILITY - A dynamic map of childcare availability is now live following the Governor's announcement of the importance of childcare for essential workers. The map can be accessed by visiting DHS’s new Covid-19 website here.

          Other People Considerations:

  • Keep communicating with your customers, and stay active on social media. Let your customers know that you are open for business, or remind them how you can help. Let them know what you are doing to protect their health as well.
  • Keep communicating with your team. They need your leadership and certainty.
  • Finalize work strategies and protocols should you need your team to work from home, or make changes to staffing. There are great tools that can maximize productivity including cloud storage like GoogleDrive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive. Consider using video conferencing for meetings with large groups. Check out cost effective platforms such as Zoom Meeting and GoTo Meeting .
  • If you are in retail or service or another public facing business, what can you do to protect both your customer base and your employees? Leverage technology and easy pick-up or delivery.

Facilities & Cleaning After Infection

Shop Local

  • Now, more than ever, small businesses need your support. MEDCO’s online directory as well as the directory from our partners at the Marion Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. The Marion Chamber has also developed an online store in partnership with Shop Where I Live. Here you can purchase direct from local retail businesses.
  • If you are doing business with a local provider and your needs have changed, do your best to postpone the work and not cancel.

Illness Prevention

While out and about, efforts to prevent the spread of disease will help keep our community safe. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If employees feel sick, encourage them to stay home.
  • If you haven't yet, please consider getting a flu shot.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 – 95% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, and then wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, computers, phones and desks.

We realize that the uptick in cancellations may feel alarming. Remember that these are all strategies to stop the spread.

Stay informed with the latest information from these reliable and trusted sources:

World Health Organization        

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Iowa Department of Public Health

Linn County Public Health Department

Other Business Resources

Iowa Association of Business & Industry

Iowa Small Business Development Center

COVID19

Communicate With Us

Marion Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the City of Marion and the Marion Chamber of Commerce is asking businesses to identify common challenges in our response to the COVID-19 spread. Please use the survey below to allow us to listen to your needs as we identify gaps where we can serve you, your business, and your employees. Responses will be kept confidential.

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