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.



Linn County Public Health Dashboard - Now in Phase 2

State of Iowa COVID-19 Dashboard

Video Resources

View More Videos

Control & Recovery Resources

Future Ready Iowa’s Coronavirus Relief Employer Innovation Fund

Preparedness & Return to Work Checklist (CIRAS)

Recommendations from the CDC on the use of cloth masks

Phased Reopening Guidance (LCPH)

General Guidance for all Business (Iowa Economic Development Authority)

Guidance on Reopening Business (IDPH)

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA)

Guidance for Construction Sites (Linn County Public Health)

Guidance for Manufacturing, Warehousing, & Distribution (CIRAS)

Guidance for the Hospitality & Travel Industry (U.S. Travel Association)

Safe Work Playbook (Lear)

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Guidance for Linn County Business (Linn County Public Health)

The Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Program

Financial Resources 

COVID-19 Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program

On July 17, 2020 the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced the launch of the new Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program. The program will provide short-term relief to eligible small businesses and nonprofits that faced significant hardship in the payment of utility bills for service provided during the months of disruption to their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers grants up to $7,500 to be applied to utility bill debt for eligible small businesses.

A funding allocation of $14.5 million from the CARES Act is available to IEDA for this initiative. To be eligible to receive assistance, businesses must have:

  • a physical (non-residential) location in Iowa and 50 or fewer employees;
  • not received funding from the IEDA’s Small Business Relief Grant Program;
  • experienced a COVID-19 loss of revenue on or after March 17, 2020, that resulted in unpaid bills for electric or natural gas service provided between March 17, 2020, and June 30, 2020; and
  • remained in operation or re-opened at the time of application.

For a full list of eligibility requirements, additional information and to apply, visit Applications will be accepted between July 17, 2020, and August 21, 2020, or until funding is depleted, whichever comes first. Applications will be reviewed in the order received. Assistance will be awarded based on application completeness and eligibility until all funds have been exhausted.


Questions regarding the Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program can be submitted via email to [email protected] or by phone at 1.855.300.2342. 

Main Street Lending Program

On April 9, the Federal Reserve launched a $600 billion lending program to help small and medium sized businesses deal with the economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Main Street Lending Program offers four-year loans to businesses that meet specific criteria and were in good financial standing before the coronavirus crisis hit. Businesses that have taken advantage of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program may also take out loans under this new program. Principal and interest payments under this new program will be deferred for one year.

The Department of the Treasury will provide $75 billion in equity to the lending facility, using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Businesses seeking these loans must commit to making reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain workers. Borrowers are also required to follow compensation, stock repurchase and dividend restrictions that apply to direct loan programs under the CARES Act.




Payment Protection Program

Who qualifies

  • Businesses with 500 or less employees.
  • Businesses that meet current SBA size standards.
  • Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, 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. 

The Difference Between Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Understanding the PPP Small Business Loans

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.



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

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Assistance Loans

Please continue to monitor the SBA's online application for funding availability.

The Difference Between Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loans

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. 

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.

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 for more instructions. Users can access the required forms (in English or Spanish) by clicking the link Applicants should complete the fillable PDF forms and save them on their computer, and then email the completed forms to [email protected] 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.


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.




Iowa TSB Sole Operator Fund

The eligibility period for applications for the Targeted Small Business (TSB) Certifications for the Targeted Small Business Sole Operator grant closed at 11:59:59 p.m. Friday, April 10.  In order to apply for these dollars, you must have already applied to be a certified TSB.


The Iowa Economic Development Authority 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.

Applications are processed in both order of receipt of application and submission of all required documents and Targeted Small Business certification approval. 


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.


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

How to Apply

Iowa Small Business Relief Fund

The Iowa Small Business Relief Grant is no longer accepting application. The state is awarding additional dollars received from the federal government to its current application pool only.  IEDA does not currently have plans to accept new applications. 



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

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.



Congress has now passed four 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

Additional Interim Relief (signed into law by President Trump on April 24th) is a $484 billion relief bill adds another $310 billion to the small-business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as provide billions in aid to hospitals and for testing accross the country. 

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

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.


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.



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

Latest News

11-18-20    Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation modifying public health measures  

11-18-20    Reynolds Announces Additional Support for COVID-19-Impacted Renters and Homeowners at Risk of Eviction or Foreclosure

11-16-20    Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing State Public Health Emergency Declaration

11-12-20    Linn County Public Health Updates COVID-19 Close Contact Definition and Releases Additional Guidance

11-10-20    Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing State Public Health Emergency Declaration

11-6-20      Gov. Reynolds Announces COVID-19 Movie Theater Relief Program 

10-11-20    Iowa Announces COVID-19 Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program

9-29-20      Iowa Department of Public Health Updates Guidelines for Schools, Business and Childcare When to Quarantine

9-15-20      Gov. Reynolds signs new Public Health proclamation adjusting mitigation efforts

9-2-20        Gov. Reynolds announces small business relief for bars and taverns in 6 counties

8-28-20      Iowa extends tax payment deadlines for certain businesses

8-27-20      Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration, ordering additional mitigation efforts 

7-02-20      Gov. Reynolds directs $490 million of CARES Funds into Unemployment Trust Fund     

6-10-20      Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration

6-02-20      Iowa Nonconformity: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020

5-29-20      New Unemployment Benefit Programs Now Available to Iowans

5-26-20      Governor Signs New Proclamation to Reopen Additional Businesses & Outdoor Activities

5-20-20      New Proclamation Continues to Permit Additional Activities and Business Reopenings

5-13-20      Governor Issues New Proclamation Allowing Restaurants and Hair Salons to Open

5-07-20      The Governor's Proclamation - What You Need to Know


Other recent business news headlines

5-06-20      Governor Allows Additional Businesses, Including Some in Linn County, to Reopen

4-28-20      Important Upcoming Tax Deadlines

4-27-20      Employer Guidance When Employees Will Not Return to Work

4-27-20      Governor Extends Business Closures in Linn County, Reduces Restrictions in 77 Other Counties

4-24-20      Governor Reynolds to Allow Elective Health Procedures

4-21-20      TestIowa Initiative Launched to Limit Spread of COVID-19

4-17-20       Marion Parks and Recreation Closes Legion Park Disc Golf Course

4-16-20       Governor Reynolds Signs New Proclamation Requiring Additional Protective Measures in RMCC Region 6

4-09-20       Federal Reserve Announces Main Street Lending Program

4-09-20       IEDA Announces 500 Small Businesses to Benefit from First Round of Iowa Small Business Relief Grants

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 Continues 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) 

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

Unemployment Information - Iowa Workforce Development

Iowa COVID-19 Dashboard

Linn County Public Health - COVID-19 Dashboard

Linn County Public Health Department

City of Marion

Iowa Department of Public Health

CDC Guidance for Workplaces, Schools, & Community Locations


Review the Iowa Department of Public Health’s workplace considerations 

Ways to Support the Retail Business Community

Take the Marion Pledge

Marion Delivery, Carry-Out, & Curbside

Shop Where I Live - Buy Online from Local Retailers

Marion Chamber of Commerce

Business Resources

Plan & Prepare

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

Employee Q&A - Unemployment Benefits

Employer Q&A - Unemployment Benefits

If an employee declines returning to work, Employers should use THIS FORM to report that situation to IWD.

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


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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