Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced a new Small Business Relief Program and tax deferral initiative to assist Iowa businesses experiencing business disruption in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new programs will share a dual application that will go live at 8 a.m. Tuesday, and applications will be due at noon on March 31. 

“This is a stopgap [for] a very short period of time until the resources from the federal government begin to flow. This is not intended to keep people at the same operating level for 90 days,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham. “It really is 30 days until we know what assessments are coming from Washington.” 
– As well as offering the U.S. Small Business Administration disaster funding, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Revenue and Iowa Workforce Development are offering Small Business Relief grants of $5,000 to $25,000 to businesses with two to 25 employees.
– The Iowa Department of Revenue is extending the sales and withholding tax deadline for any business that gets a grant, and will consider an extension for any business that applies. IWD will allow businesses with fewer than 50 employees to delay unemployment tax payments for the first quarter until July 31.
– $2 million in funding comes from the state’s economic emergency fund, and an additional $2 million is being reallocated by the IEDA toward this initiative from other programs.
– Industries filing the highest number of unemployment claims so far are accommodations and food services followed by educational services (hourly school employees), IWD Director Beth Townsend said.