Business Resources for COVID-19

Update 11/16/20: Governor Reynolds has implemented a number of additional public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These new measures will be effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, November 17, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on December 10, 2020. To view a summary of enhanced mitigation measures, click here.

 

Updated 11/10/20:  Governor Reynolds has announced the below Advanced Health Measures. The full proclamation can be found at www.governor.iowa.gov


Updated 8/29/20: MITIGATING COVID-19 FOR
IOWA BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS


Previous Lee County Q&A Sessions

Upcoming Q&A Sessions - Elected Officials Series

Lee County EDG is partnering with the Keokuk Chamber and Fort Madison Partners to present Lee County Q&A Sessions for our local businesses. This is an opportunity for our businesses to hear from local, state, and federal leaders as we navigate new programs and minimize the long-term impact COVID 19 has on Lee County.

Have an idea for a future Lee County Q&A Session? Submit your suggestion here!

Registered attendees can participate via video chat or by phone.

 Previous Q&A Sessions

 
   

 
   
 
 
 


Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Small Business Gap Financing 

Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission has small business gap financing available for businesses in the SEIRPC region, Lee, Henry, Des Moines, and Louisa Counties, that are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Current small business loan customers and new customers may qualify for up to $10,000 in emergency funds. 

Contact Tracey Lamm, Regional Development Coordinator at tlamm@seirpc.com or 319-753-4306 (office), 319-457-1642 (cellphone).

Find out more here


Iowa COVID 19 State Resource: https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/

 

Small Business Assistance 

Iowa Small Businesses Affected by Coronovirus (COVID 19) Can Apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

 


Reopening Guidance 

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces.

  • Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.
  • Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 external iconcan also help reduce the risk. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.
  • When EPA-approved disinfectants external iconare not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions). Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.

View the CDC's Guidelines on disinfecting and reducing the spread in the workplace here. 

Employers should plan to monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace. Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher than usual absenteeism.

Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff members are absent.

Preventative Steps:

  • Taking temperatures of employees before they start their shift, using forehead thermometers
  • Sending anyone home who is at high risk or showing signs of illness
  • Rearranging workspaces so employees can keep a safe distance
  • Creating split shifts to reduce contact of employees or rotating layoffs each week to reduce the number of people in one area
  • Taking extra time at the beginning and end of the shift to wipe down all surfaces with antibacterial and disinfect work areas

Encourage sick employees to stay home:

Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [38.0° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. All sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.


Unemployment Benefits

If you are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. 

Eligibility: Claimants that file will be eligible if they are out of work due to:

  • Caring for a family member with COVID exposure/illness
  • Loss of childcare or school closures
  • Employer shut down (temporary layoffs have always qualified)
  • Self-quarantine need
  • Ill with COVID-19 and unable to work due to sickness or quarantine

More specific explanation of benefit eligibility can be found at: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/2019-unemployment-insurance-claimant-handbook

Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, will not be charged to employers. Fact-finding interviews for these claims will be waived and not be held although employers will be notified of claims received.

Can an employee stay home under FMLA leave to avoid getting pandemic influenza?

The FMLA protects eligible employees who are incapacitated by a serious health condition, as may be the case with the flu where complications arise, or who are needed to care for covered family members who are incapacitated by a serious health condition.  Leave taken by an employee for the purpose of avoiding exposure to the flu would not be protected under the FMLA.  Employers should encourage employees who are ill with pandemic influenza or are exposed to ill family members to stay home and should consider flexible leave policies for their employees in these circumstances. 

More Information here


Coronavirus-related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Small - Midsized Businesses

Today the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

 Key Takeaways

  • Paid Sick Leave for Workers
    • For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.
  • Complete Coverage
    • Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the act.
    • Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
    • Employers face no payroll tax liability.
    • Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
  • Fast Funds
    • Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
    • An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided
    • Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
  • Small Business Protection
    • Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.

The act will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

Find out more here


Additional Resources

TestIowa.com

Iowa COVID 19 Website 

Governor Reynolds Press Releases 

Small Business Resources 

How to Prepare Your Small Business for COVID 19

COVID 19 Fact Sheet

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Employers

 

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