Ames Chamber of Commerce

Business Resources

The Ames Chamber of Commerce regularly updates this page with available financial assistance opportunities.

April 27, 2021 - SBA Announces Application Opening for $28.6B Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration will begin registrations on Friday, April 30 at 10am and open applications on Monday, May 3 at 1pm for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted. Established under the American Rescue Plan, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief funds to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023. 

In preparation, the SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience, specifically by:

  • Registering for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT.
  • Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.
  • Preparing the required documentation.
  • Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting restaurants.sba.gov to submit an application when the application portal opens. [Note: If an applicant is working with a point-of-sale vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the site.]
  • Attending a live recorded virtual training webinar.

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consistent with the legislation and the intent of Congress, the SBA continues to take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of relief, particularly for the smallest businesses, by creating a $9.5 billion set-aside: $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts not more than $50,000.

For more information, visit sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at sba.gov/restaurantes.

Mitigating COVID-19 for Iowa Businesses and Organizations

The Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Workforce Development has prepared a "Mitigating COVID-19"  resource for Iowa businesses. It answers many questions regarding COVID-19 preparedness, enhanced public health measures, gathering restrictions, testing, business operations and more. Download the guide here.

 

Federal Relief Programs

State Relief Programs

  • Iowa Restaurant & Bar Relief Grant Program: The program may assist eligible businesses that experienced a decrease in gross sales of at least 15% during the second and third quarters of 2020, (April 1- Sept. 30), compared to the same time the previous year, as evidenced by the Iowa Sales/Retailer’s Use Tax and Surcharge Return. Grant award amounts will be determined using a tiered system based on the percent of gross sales loss. Award tiers will be used with a maximum award amount of $25,000.
    • Closed
  • Iowa Movie Theater Fund: an extension of the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program and will provide short-term relief to eligible movie theatres for the purpose of continuing or resuming business operations in the context of a public health emergency.
    • Closed
  • Iowa County Fairs Relief Fund: an extension of the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program and will provide short-term relief to eligible county and district fairs for the purpose of continuing or resuming business operations in the context of the current COVID-19 public health emergency.
    • Closed
  • Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program: Utility bill assistance is now available. Electric and natural gas utility bill assistance for actual utility debt incurred for electric or natural gas service provided between March 17, 2020, and June 30, 2020, not to exceed $7,500.
    • Closed June 2020
  • Iowa Small Business Utility Disruption Program: The program will provide short-term relief to eligible small businesses and nonprofits that faced significant hardship in the payment of utility bills for service provided during the months of disruption to their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers grants up to $7,500 to be applied to utility bill debt for eligible small businesses.
    • Closed August 2020
  • COVID-19 Business Disruption Relief Program: Governor Reynolds allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist bars, taverns and other establishments impacted by the Aug. 27, 2020, COVID-19 disaster proclamation that closed bars in six counties.
    • Closed September 2020
  • Iowa Agriculture Relief Programs: Governor Reynolds allocated federal CARES Act Funds to assist Iowa farmers, producers and biofuel producers impacted by COVID-19.
    • Closed
  • Iowa Nonprofit Recovery Fund: The program will provide short-term relief to nonprofit organizations that have seen reduced revenue and/or increased costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible nonprofits may be awarded a grant of up to $25,000, based on income, expenses, outstanding obligations and other state and federal assistance received. The program has $10 million available, which was allocated through federal CARES Act funds.
    • Closed August 2020
  • IEDA Small Business Relief Grants: Governor Reynolds launched the Iowa Small Business Relief Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Closed June 2020
  • Iowa Business Tax Deferral: Information about the Iowa Small Business Tax Deferral program can be found at tax.iowa.gov/COVID-19. The page contains details about eligibility, important dates, frequently asked questions and the application for sales tax deferral and/or withholding tax deferral.
  • Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund: The program offers eligible small businesses grants from $1,000-$10,000 to businesses that are single owners with no employees that are also TSB certified.
    • Closed May 2020
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Table Remains the Same for 2021: Iowa Workforce Development announced that the unemployment insurance tax rates for Iowa employers will remain unchanged for 2021.  In June 2020, Gov. Reynolds directed $490 million of the State’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act Coronavirus relief funds to be deposited into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  This deposit ensured that Iowa would  remain in Tax Table 7 for 2021.

Other Relief Programs

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