Navigating Covid-19 for Businesses

Governor's Proclamation - What You Need To KNow

Limited Business Restrictions Lifted

On May 6, 2020 Governor Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation allowing additional businesses statewide to reopen. Additionally, there are limited businesses in Linn County now allowed to reopen under specific circumstances. We've done our best to summarize the proclamation and business impacts below. You can access the full proclamation at the bottom of this page.

Dental Services — allowed to resume statewide providing all dental services if:

  • All services are provided in compliance with guidelines adopted by the Iowa Dental Board on May 5, 2020
  • The dentist has adequate PPE Inventories and a reliable supply chain
  • The dentist has a plan to conserve PPE consistent with CDC and IDPH guidance

Statewide Changes businesses allowed to open at 5am on May 8, 2020

  • Campgrounds
  • Drive-in movie theaters
  • Tanning facilities
  • Medical Spas

Changes for Linn County

  • Fitness Centers - All fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers shall continue to be closed, except that such a facility may open on an appointment basis, provided that the facility permits only a single patron at one time and takes reasonable measures under the circumstances of each facility to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with Guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Malls - An enclosed mall may reopen, but only to the extent that it complies with the following requirements
    • Capacity limited: The mall must limit the number of customers present to 50% of its maximum legal occupancy capacity.
    • Common seating areas: All common seating areas, such as food courts, shall remain closed. Restaurants in food courts may operate on a carry-out basis.
    • Play areas: Any play area or playground must remain closed.
    • Social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The mall shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each mall to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Other retail establishments: A retail establishment that was previously ordered to be closed under section 5, paragraph I, of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued on April 27, 2020, may reopen, but only to the extent that it limits the number of customers present to 50% of its maximum legal occupancy capacity and implements reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health..

Iowa Department of Revenue Important Upcoming Tax Deadlines

Although a number of tax filing deadlines were recently extended by Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Revenue, not all tax filing deadlines have been extended. The Department is reminding taxpayers that a number of important tax deadlines are approaching soon and taxpayers should meet those deadlines to avoid interest, penalties, or loss of other tax benefits. Unless a deadline has specifically been extended, the regular deadline still applies. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list of upcoming tax deadlines. These important tax deadlines include:

  • Estimated Income Tax Payments — The Department has not extended the due date for estimated income tax payments. The first quarter installment of tax year 2020 estimated income tax for taxpayers filing on a calendar year basis is due April 30, 2020. Additional underpayment penalty relief related to certain 2020 estimated income taxes was recently granted in Order 2020-03. Information on estimated tax payments and this additional underpayment penalty relief can be found under Frequently Asked Questions for Estimated (Income Tax) Payments at tax.iowa.gov/COVID-19.
  • Solar Energy System Tax Credit and Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit Applications — Taxpayers who installed solar or geothermal energy property in calendar year 2019 in Iowa that qualifies for the Iowa solar energy system tax credit or the Iowa geothermal heat pump tax credit must submit a complete application no later than May 1, 2020, in order to be eligible to receive a tax credit. Applications for both tax credits are submitted online at taxcredit.iowa.gov.
  • Sales Tax Returns and Payments — Upcoming sales tax returns and payments are due as normal unless they have been deferred under the Iowa Small Business Relief Program. Applications for deferral under that program are still being accepted through April 30, 2020. Information about that program and the application can be found at tax.iowa.gov/COVID-19. View information about non-deferred filing filing frequencies and return due dates..
  • Income Withholding Returns and Payments — Upcoming income withholding returns and payments are due as normal unless they have been deferred under the Iowa Small Business Relief Program. Applications for deferral under that program are still being accepted through April 30, 2020. Information about that program and the application can be found at tax.iowa.gov/COVID-19. View information about non-deferred filing frequencies and return due dates.

Recent Tax Deadline Extensions

Several important tax deadlines were recently extended by Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Revenue. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list of recent extensions. These recent extensions include:

  • Income/Franchise/Moneys & Credits Tax Returns and Payments — The Director has issued Order 2020-01 which extends the deadline for filing Iowa Income Tax Returns, Iowa Franchise Tax Returns, and Credit Union Moneys and Credits Tax Confidential Reports with a due date on or after March 19, 2020, and before July 31, 2020, to a new due date of July 31, 2020. Additional information on income tax returns can be found under Frequently Asked Questions for Income Tax at tax.iowa.gov/COVID-19.
  • Property Tax: Board of Review Protest Period Extended — Any property owner or aggrieved taxpayer who is dissatisfied with the owner’s or taxpayer’s assessment may file a protest against such assessment with the local board of review on or after April 2, to and including April 30, of the year of the assessment. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Director has issued an Order 2020-02 to extend and include the time for filing a protest to the period from May 25, 2020, to June 5, 2020. This Order also authorizes Boards of Review in each county to remain in session until June 15, 2020. Protests may be filed using the Petition to Local Board of Review form. A taxpayer may contact their local assessor's office for information on how to file a protest.
  • First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts — Eligible taxpayers who opened an Iowa first-time homebuyer savings account in calendar year 2019 normally must complete and file an Account Holder and Designated Beneficiary Form 41-162 , no later than April 30, 2020, in order for the account to qualify as a first-time homebuyer savings account. However, on April 24, Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation extending the deadline for filing these forms for taxpayers who opened an account in 2019 to July 31, 2020. Additional information on account owner responsibilities related to first-time homebuyer savings accounts can be found at tax.iowa.gov/first-time-homebuyers-savings-account.
  • Iowa Educational Savings (529) Plan Contributions — Under normal circumstances taxpayers could elect to deduct qualifying contributions made to an Iowa Educational Savings (529) Plan between January 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020 (up to the contribution limit), on their 2019 Iowa income tax returns, rather than their 2020 returns. On April 24, 2020, Governor Reynolds issued a public health proclamation which, in part, extended the deadline to make such contributions and still deduct them on a 2019 return from April 30, 2020, to July 31, 2020.

This information was sent via GovDelivery to those subscribed to receive Law & Policy updates from the Department. To receive notifications of resources and guidance issued by the Department, subscribe to updates by selecting the tax topics of interest.

Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund

Who? Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What? The program offers eligible small businesses grants up to $10,000 to businesses that are single owners with no employees that are also TSB certified, or have an application submitted to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) by April 10, 2020, to become TSB certified.

When? Applications are being accepted now and Iowa Economic Development will continue to process applications on an ongoing basis until all funds are exhausted. Applications are processed in both order of receipt of application and submission of all required documents and Targeted Small Business certification approval.

Apply Here »

SBA Emergency Economic Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grant & CARES ACT/U.S. Small Business Administration

This grant allows a business that has applied for an EIDL loan due to COVID-19 to request an immediate advance of up to $10,000. This assistance is available to businesses, cooperatives, ESOPs, Tribal businesses, nonprofits, sole proprietors, and independent contractors with fewer than 500 employees. Business owners should apply directly through the SBA.

Additional Information »

Paycheck Protection Program

Who? All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries. More Information

What? The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:

  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and employee and compensation levels are maintained.
  • Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscriptions, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.

You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.

To see the application click here.

To see if you’re eligible click here.

When? Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.

Additional Information »

Workplace Exposure Prevention

Guidance for Employees to Plan and Prevent COVID-19 PDF

Federal Reserve Announces Aid to Mid-Size Businesses

The Federal Reserve announced today that it will provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy, including $600 billion in loans for businesses through the Main Street Lending Program. This will be provided through banks for businesses with as many as 10,000 employees but under $2.5 billion in revenue last year. The terms of these loans are not the same as those offered under the Paycheck Protection Program for smaller businesses with under 500 employees, though those businesses aren't excluded from applying. The program is expected to launch in the coming weeks.

Additional Information »

Additional Funding On the Way for Federal Business Assistance Programs

Congressional leaders from both political parties have reached an agreement with the Trump Administration to continue funding two popular, necessary financial assistance programs for small businesses. The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved the legislation and the House is expected to follow suit on Thursday.

The bipartisan agreement will provide more than $320 billion in additional funding for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides forgivable loans for businesses to keep their employees on payroll. $60 billion of the funding is reserved for lending by small and medium sized financial institutions and provisions requiring participation by lending institutions serving minority or under-served areas.

The deal also includes:

  • $60 billion more for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and clarifies that farmers are eligible to apply
  • $75 billion more to fund hospitals and health care providers in this crisis
  • $25 billion more for state-led COVID-19 testing plans and for research, development, and other testing support from key agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

What Happens After Funding is Passed

President Trump indicated he will sign the legislation and once he does, the application process for the PPP and EIDL will reopen. Applicants who have already submitted their EIDL applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants who have already submitted their PPP applications should check with their lenders on the status once funding is approved.

Like all coronavirus-related state and federal funding we've seen to date, it's expected that this additional funding will run out very quickly.

Phase 4 Stimulus Package

President Trump also indicated that talks for a Phase 4 stimulus bill can begin once this latest legislation passes. Phase 4 could include fiscal relief for state and local governments, as well as infrastructure investments for bridges and broadband, and tax incentives for restaurants and other industries.

ICR Iowa Hosting Webinar with Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham on April 29

Join ICR Iowa for a webinar with Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Director of the Iowa Finance Authority on Wednesday, April 29 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Director Durham will share her perspective on economic development in Iowa, how state program delivery is going so far, and what she anticipates for Iowa’s road to recovery.

Lydia Brown, ICR Iowa Board Chair and Director of Business Development at Skogman Realty will moderate this webinar. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Join the Webinar »

State Wide Survey

Many of our metro area businesses responded to a statewide survey between March 17-March 23 providing information as to how COVID-19 was impacting their operations. At the state level, 85% of respondents reported being negatively impacted with only 4% reporting a positive impact. An executive summary of the report is AVAILABLE HERE.

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