Governor Reynolds announces state-based support for local businesses

The new plan would provide grants and delay tax deadlines for small businesses throughout Iowa.

The+Airliner+is+seen+closed+on+Tuesday%2C+March+17%2C+2020.+The+spread+of+coronavirus+in+Johnson+county+has+been+named+a+public+health+emergency.+%28Tate+Hildyard%2FThe+Daily+Iowan.%29

Tate Hildyard

The Airliner is seen closed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The spread of coronavirus in Johnson county has been named a public health emergency. (Tate Hildyard/The Daily Iowan.)

Naomi Hofferber, Arts Reporter

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced in a press conference Monday afternoon new state-based support for local businesses impacted by COVID-19 closures. 

This plan would provide grants and delay tax deadlines for small businesses throughout Iowa.

“Iowa small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and the engine behind our economy,” Reynolds said. “That’s why it is critically important that we take steps to help and support our small businesses during these challenging times.”

In addition to thanking Iowans for actively supporting local businesses, Reynolds announced a three-prong plan that would make grants available for amounts between $5,000 to $25,000 for small businesses with between two and 25 employees. 

The Iowa Department of Revenue is extending the sales and withholding tax deadlines for businesses with a grant, and will consider extensions for other businesses who applied. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may delay their unemployment tax payments until July 31.

“I fully understand that this doesn’t make up for having your businesses closed for a period of time, or your customers staying home, but it is our hope we can help businesses weather the storm,” Reynolds said. 

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The plan, Reynolds said, was developed with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Revenue, and the Iowa Workforce Development. 

Debi Durham, the Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said this plan is primarily focused on consumer-facing industries, such as accommodation and food service industries, which have the highest rate of unemployment claims currently.

Reynolds confirmed 15 more positive cases in the state on Monday, bringing the total to 105 positive COVID-19 diagnoses across 26 counties. Seven people have been hospitalized. Reynolds said the state anticipates the number of positive tests to increase, as it ramps up the amount of testing. There have been 2043 negative tests so far, she added.

Reynolds reiterated she is still not calling for a shelter in place order at the moment, but that state health officials are closely monitoring metrics to make sure Iowans are following her calls for social distancing.

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