• Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources for the Muscatine Business Community

    The situation involving the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly day by day and information coming out at a staggering pace. We want you to know the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GMCCI) is here working on your behalf. We're working diligently to compile relevant information and resources to help you stay up-to-date. GMCCI staff are dedicated to helping support our businesses and community through this challenging time. As events change and new information becomes available this page will be updated to keep the greater Muscatine business owners and community members informed.


    FEDERAL

    U.S. Small Business Administration 

    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
      • Can provide up to $2 million of financial assistance (actual loan amounts are based on amount of economic injury) to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the declared disaster, regardless of whether the applicant sustained physical damage.
      • Eligibility criteria:      
        • Located (physical presence) within the declared disaster area
        • Have suffered, or are likely to suffer, substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster
        • Do not have credit available elsewhere
        • The size of the applicant alone (without affiliates) must not exceed the size standard for the industry in which the applicant is primarily engaged and
        • The size of the applicant combined with its affiliates must not exceed either the size standard designated for the primary industry of the applicant alone or the primary industry of the applicant and its affiliates, whichever is higher.
        • Must be an independently owned and operated business
    • Existing SBA Disaster Loans payment and interest are automatic deferred through 2020 

    U.S. Department of Treasury

    • Federal tax deadline delayed until July 15, 2020
    • Allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest
    • Allowing corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest

    U.S. Housing and Urban Development

    • Foreclosures and evictions have been suspended through the end of April

    Congress

    • The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074)passed the U.S. House on March 4, the U.S. Senate on March 5 and signed by President Trump on March 6. The legislation does the following:
      • $6.7 billion in domestic spending to address the coronavirus 
      • $6.2 billion to HHS to bolster vaccine development, research, medical equipment stockpiles and for state and local health budgets  
      • $500 million for telehealth medicine  
      • $20 million for SBA loans and $20 million for SBA operations

    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)passed the U.S. House on March 14, the U.S. Senate on March 18 and was signed by President Trump on March 18. The legislation does the following:
      • Overall $3.471 billion in spending to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
      • Provides supplemental funding for nutrition assistance through USDA programs SNAP, WIC and the Emergency Food Assistance Program along with U.S. Department of Human Services programs to provide nutrition assistance to the elderly population
      • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain businesses to develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan to protect health care workers
      • Establishes a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak
      • Expands unemployment benefits and provides grants to states for processing and paying claims
      • Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees and allows 100% reimbursement for leave with health insurance costs included
      • Allows a tax credit to employers for paid sick leave and paid family & medical leave which also includes a credit for payroll taxes

    The third phase of Coronavirus aid legislation, “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act”or the “CARES Act” (S. 3548) has not yet passed Congress. 

     

    STATE OF IOWA

    Governor Reynolds’ Proclamations

    • Temporary suspension of regulations related to the deployment of telehealth and telemedicine for addressing the COVID-19 disaster. 
    • A temporary suspension of a variety of licensing provision for multiple professions and licenses including license expiration and continuing education.
    • Temporary suspension of evictions and foreclosures. 
    • Temporary lifting of regulations on some alcohol sales. 

    Iowa Economic Development Authority 

    • Iowa Small Business Relief Program 
      • The program offers small businesses, who are experiencing business disruption due to COVID-19 and have employed between 2-25 employees prior to March, 17, 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. Application open through Tuesday, March 31stat 12pm CST.

    Iowa Department of Revenue 

    • State tax filing deadlines extended to July 31 with no late-filing or underpayment penalties will be due for qualifying taxpayers who comply with the extended filing and payment deadlines.
    • Property tax payment penalties and interest suspended.
    • 2020 1stQuarter unemployment insurance tax extension from April 30, 2020 through July 31, 2020 for businesses employing less than 50 employees. 

    Iowa Utilities Board

    • All electric and natural gas investor owned utilities to cease disconnection of residential service due to nonpayment until May 1.
    • All other utilities, including water and sewer, encouraged to follow a similar policy.  

    Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)

    • The Iowa DOT has suspended rules on drivers’ license and vehicle registration renewal. 
    • Temporary suspension of permitting and regulations related to the trucking industry as it relates to movement of critical resources. 

    Iowa Secretary of State

    • Office closed through March 27.
    • The office is directing customers to their online filing system, Fast Track Filing (FTF).
    • Temporary authorization of remote notarization. 

    The Iowa General Assembly

    • The Iowa Legislature has been suspended for 30 days, adjourned until April 15, 2020
    • Prior to the legislative suspension, Senate File 2408 was passed and signed by Governor Reynolds on March 17; the legislation does the following:
      • Supplemental appropriations of $525,000 for the processing of COVID-19 testing kits at the State Hygienic Laboratory, $89 million for Medicaid, $1.7 million for the Hawk-I children’s insurance program, and $600,000 for the Glenwood Resource Center, 
      • Emergency spending authority of up to 10% of the State’s $190 million Economic Emergency Fund for the Governor to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak (with authority to go higher with approval from the Legislative Council), 
      • A waiver of the 180 day school year requirement for this year, and 
      • State program funding at last year’s levels for the first two months of FY 2021 (July and August) just in case the Legislature is unable to pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. 

     

    March 26, 2020

    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the closure of these non-essential businesses starting at 10 p.m. March 26 through April 7: bookstores, clothing stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, luggage stores, cosmetic stores, florists and furniture and home furnishing stores.

    On Thursday, March 26 Gov. Reynolds extended the closure through April 7 of these businesses: restaurants and bars, fitness centers, swimming pools, salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments, theaters, casinos and gaming facilities, senior citizen center and adult day care centers and mass gatherings.

    The U.S. Senate on March 25 passed a $2 trillion disaster relief and economic stimulus plan to help combat the effects of COVID-19, called the CARES Act. It now moves to the House of Representatives, where a vote is expected March 27. President Trump already has indicated his intention to sign the legislation. 

    While the legislation itself is 800+ pages, below are some of the details that are included in the proposal:

    $350 billion is dedicated to preventing layoffs and closing of businesses. 

    • Companies with 500 employees or less that keep paychecks steady could get up to $10 million each in forgivable small business loans. 
    • Federally guaranteed loans will provide eight weeks of assistance for qualifying employers who maintain payroll. 
    • Those who meet requirements would have costs such as utilities, mortgage interest and rent forgiven.

    Payroll taxes that would normally go towards social security would be deferred (6.2% of the employer’s share).

    • Those deferrals must be paid in full, with half due at the end of 2021 and the other half at the end of 2022. 

    A new Paycheck Protection Loan program is created through the Small Business Administration (SBA): 

    • Businesses can use the loan for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities over an eight-week period.
    • Businesses can get these loans forgiven if they maintain payroll from February 15, 2020 through June 15, 2020. 
    • The program applies to businesses with less than 500 employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals. Many in the food and hospitality industry may qualify if they have more than 500 employees with multiple locations. 
    • All borrower and lender fees are waived, amongst other requirements and there is an automatic deferral of principal, interest and fees for six months.
    • Important note: A small business cannot get a new loan under this program if they receive an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. 

    Individuals will be eligible to receive:

    • $1,200 per individual making less than $75K in 2019 with complete phase out above $99K.
    • $2,400 per couple making less than $150K in 2019 with complete phase out at $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
    • $500 per child with income phase out.

    Unemployment benefits for displaced employees will be expanded to up to 100% of benefits, which ensures laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months. It also allows furloughed workers to stay on as employees, so that when the crisis ends they can quickly resume work.

    No penalty will be assessed for withdrawing from retirement accounts related to COVID-19 up to $100,000. 

    Around $100 billion is allocated to hospitals and the health care system to help mitigate the spread and impacts of COVID-19. 

    Helpful links:

     

    March 25, 2020

    Senate reaches agreement on $2 trillion stimulus package

    The U.S. Senate on Wednesday, March 25, reached an agreement to pass a $2 trillion stimulus package to help combat the effects of COVID-19. 

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act

    The U.S. Department of Labor published guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes effect April 1.  

    Iowa Economic Development Authority

    Sole proprietors of certified and prospective Targeted Small Businesses (TSBs) in Iowa that have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for state grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

    Iowa Workforce Development

    Information on unemployment insurance for Iowans affected by COVID-19 is updated daily on the Iowa Workforce Development website. It is now available in Spanish as well. The website features:

    • Videos to help claimants learn how to file their claim online

    • Resources and updates for employers

    • Information on immediate job openings for businesses needing personnel

     

    March 24, 2020

    Iowa update

    The State of Iowa this week launched a new COVID-19 website with the latest information on the pandemic and the state's ongoing mitigation and response efforts.

     

    FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE & TAX DEFERRAL FOR BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY COVID-19

    On Monday, March 23, Governor Reynolds announced the launch of a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will provide 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. 

    • Funds can be used to 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

    Application deadline is Tuesday, March 31 at 12 p.m. (noon)

    IOWA SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

    Eligibility

    • Must be experiencing business disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic; and
    • Must have employed between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020; and
    • Must have a physical location in Iowa

    How to Apply

    • Complete and submit the application
    • Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and grant amount will be determined by the level of impact including loss in sales revenue and employees
    • Notification of award decisions and disbursement of grant funds will be made in early April and disbursements shortly thereafter

    Application deadline is Tuesday, March 31 at 12 p.m. (noon)

    ​IOWA BUSINESS TAX DEFERRAL

    Eligibility

    • Must be experiencing business disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic; and
    • Must have a physical location in Iowa

    How to Apply

    ​Due to the anticipated volume of applications, staff will work diligently to review and respond to applications in the order received. A complete application is not a guarantee of financial assistance or tax deferral.

     

    March 23, 2020

    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday, March 23, announced the creation of a new financial relief program to help businesses across the state combat the loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Iowa Small Business Relief Program, organized by Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Revenue and Iowa Workforce Development, will provide grants to small businesses and tax deferrals to any Iowa business disrupted by COVID-19. The program launches at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, and businesses may access the application on this page of the Iowa Economic Development Authority's website.

    Here's what else you need to know about the Iowa Small Business Relief Program:

    • Businesses with 2-25 employees may apply for grants of $5,000 to $25,000, and distribution will vary based on business model and size.
    • Businesses that receive a grant also may defer payment of state sales and payroll taxes – without penalty or interest.
      • The state will consider an extension for any business that applies.
    • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may delay unemployment tax payments until July 31.
    • The deadline to apply is 12 p.m. Tuesday, March 31.
    • Applications will be reviewed and approved as they are received, and notifications will be made quickly.

    Federal update

    The U.S. Senate on Monday, March 23, continued negotiating the details of an economic stimulus plan that could invest anywhere from $700 billion to over $1 trillion in the economy. The Quad Cities Chamber remains hopeful the Senate passes the plan in the coming days and sends it to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval. 

    Critical information for decision making during COVID-19

    The IRS extended its filing deadline and federal tax payments to July 15, without penalties and interest, regardless of amount owed. The IRS has set up a coronavirus webpage for more info.

    Total Solutions has compiled resources for Illinois and Iowa employers regarding how to handle layoffs and resources for your employees pertaining to unemployment insurance filing: COVID-19 Human Resources Frequently Asked Questions

    SCORE provides guidance for small businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak, including remote mentors and small business resources.

    SBA Iowa Disaster Assistance Webinar: SBA IOWA will have two webinars this week on Disaster Assistance for Iowa small businesses. The identical webinars will be held March 24th and March 26th. More information and webinar links at ow.ly/bbAn50yTtek

    March 21, 2020

    Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the state and is asking businesses to share with them what they are experiencing and how they are handling the crisis.

    IEDA still needs to hear from businesses, as the survey response rate is low. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey by 5 p.m. Monday, March 23. The information will aid State of Iowa officials in crafting more targeted assistance to Iowa businesses and organizations affected by COVID-19.

    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the closing of salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo establishments, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments and swimming pools, effective at 10 p.m. Sunday, March 22, through March 31. 

     

    March 20, 2020

    Gov. Reynolds signs additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration, will hold a press conference today.

    • Temporarily suspends collection of property taxes and penalties and interest
    • Temporarily suspends some evictions under the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or the Manufactured Home Communities or Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in certain circumstances
    • Extends expiration deadline for a permit to carry and a permit to acquire a firearm and additional measures
    • Permits the sale of carry-out, delivery, drive-thru of alcohol for unopened bottles of alcohol for bars and restaurants and suspends some fees
    • Permits public meetings or hearings by electronic means to improve the functions of government while maintaining social distancing practices
    • Suspends certain regulations to ease the transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities, food, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods on all highways in Iowa
    • The proclamation also allows related state agencies to implement the state’s public health emergency plan

    Below are more resources to help businesses protect and recover their workforce and operations from COVID-19:

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act 

    What does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act mean for employers? Register for MRA’s livestream briefing on COVID-19 at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 24.

    Unemployment insurance benefits

    Employers may now take employees’ temperatures

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides guidelines to help employers navigate workplace protections and rules during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and COVID-19 covers: 

    • Screening job applicants for COVID-19 symptoms after making a conditional job offer
    • Taking an applicant's temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam
    • Delaying the start date of an applicant with COVID-19 or associated symptoms
    • Withdrawing a job offer when the individual has COVID-19 or symptoms 

    March 19, 2020

    REQUESTING DISASTER ASSISTANCE LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) updated criteria on states for requesting disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The relaxed criteria will have two immediate impacts:

    • Faster, Easier Qualification Process for States Seeking SBA Disaster Assistance. Historically, the SBA has required that any state or territory impacted by disaster provide documentation certifying that at least five small businesses have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster, with at least one business located in each declared county/parish. Under the just-released, revised criteria, states or territories are only required to certify that at least five small businesses within the state/territory have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of where those businesses are located.
    • Expanded, Statewide Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses. SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a Governor. Under the revised criteria issued today, disaster assistance loans will be available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.

    Learn more here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

     

    March 18, 2020

    GMCCI is coordinating efforts with the State of Iowa and the Small Business Administration to assess the impact on our businesses and community from the COVID-19 crisis. The Iowa Economic Development Authority needs information to better provide assistance to those affected. Your participation in this survey will help shape the IEDA response in the days ahead. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey to share how your business is being affected. The information will remain confidential.

    Click to take the IEDA IMPACT SURVEY

    The deadline to complete the survey is Monday, March 23 at 5:00 PM.

    Iowa Workforce Development is hosting a second webinar about Unemployment Insurance for Employers and Workers on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 12:00 PM.  The webinar currently has capacity for 500 people. The recording will be available after the event.  To attend the webinar click the link below.

    Employer Webinar - Unemployment Insurance - March 19, 2020 - 12:00 PM

    March 17, 2020

    Effective today, March 17, 2020, at 12:00 PM Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency ordering the closure of Restaurants and Bars, Fitness Centers, Theaters and Gaming Facilities, and Senior Citizen Centers and Adult Daycare facilities until March 31, 2020. 

    • Customers can still order carry-out, driver-through or delivery from restaurants.
    • Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited at all locations and venues.

    Click here to read the entire State of Public Health Disaster Emergency

    The Iowa Workforce Development is hosting two webinars about unemployment insurance for employers and workers affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).  To access the webinars visit https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/updates-and-resources-about-covid-19.

    Employer Webinar - Unemployment Insurance - March 17, 2020 - 12:00 PM

    Unemployment Insurance for Claimants - March 17, 2020 - 1:00 PM

    Recordings of the webinars will be available after the events.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

    Center for Disease Control: CoronaVirus (COVID-19) Information Page

    CDC Full Details on How to Protect Yourself & Others

    Take these steps to help protect yourself and stem the spread of the virus

    • Clean your hands often
    • Avoid close contact
    • Stay home if you're sick
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Clean and disinfect
    • Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

    Business Resources

    Not sure how to begin planning for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or how to deal with the fallout? The following resources are available to businesses.

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources

    Flyer for UI Guidance

    How To Support Local Businesses

    • Order Take-Out or Delivery from a local business.
    • Purchase Gift Cards to be used at a later date.
    • Shop at local businesses online stores.
    • Like, Share & Comment on local business' social media.
    • Keep your memberships current.  Dues are an important revenue for many organizations.

    Additional Information:

    Health & Resource Information

    Center for Disease Control

    Iowa Department of Public Health

    Mental Health & Crisis

    Small Business Administration

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    U.S. Travel Association

    Assistance

    Federal Family and Medical Leave Act

    Mortgage, Rent, & Utility Assistance

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

    City & State Information

    Office of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

    City of Muscatine

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