Des Moines hotels see visitors, profits plunge during coronavirus outbreak
Des Moines Register: Profits for Des Moines-area hotels cratered last week as they lost more than half their usual customer base and about a third of their revenue, according to data released Wednesday. The occupancy rate for the metro was 23%, down from 56% around the same time last year, according to STR Data. Worse, for local hotels: They earned only about $17 in revenue per room, down from about $59 last March. Some area hotels are temporarily closing and laying off workers.

For Iowa’s rural restaurants, COVID-19 may be their ‘demise’
Iowa Capital Dispatch: In Iowa’s rural communities, restaurants serve a higher purpose than offering a plate of food or a cup of coffee. On Iowa’s main streets, restaurants are where celebrations are held, people catch up with their friends or it’s a daily chance to socialize. But these small-town anchors are some of the businesses at the highest at risk of permanently shutting their doors after Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered that they close to dine-in service for at least two weeks. The emergency order was issued March 17 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. “I think for a lot of rural Iowa, it will be too hard,” said Jessica Dunker, president of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “It was hard to start with. This might just be their demise.” If 10-15% of Iowa’s restaurants shut down due to COVID-19, “that will be the best we can hope for,” Dunker said. 

Senate passes $2 trillion bill for ‘strange and evil’ coronavirus crisis
Reuters: The U.S. Senate late Wednesday unanimously backed a $2 trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus epidemic, as well as providing billions of dollars to buy urgently needed medical equipment. After bitter negotiations, the deeply divided Senate came together and passed the bill by a 96-0 vote, which sent the massive stimulus package to the House of Representatives for a vote on Friday. President Donald Trump, whose top aides helped negotiate the bipartisan measure, promised to sign it into law as soon as it reaches his desk. “I will sign it immediately,” Trump told reporters.

– Stocks up on $2 trillion stimulus Wall Street rally (Reuters)
– Fed’s Powell says virus to dictate when U.S. economy reopens (Reuters)
– McDonald’s to trim U.S. menu during coronavirus pandemic (Reuters)