Gov. Reynolds announces 88 new COVID-19 cases and an outbreak in a Cedar Rapids long term care facility during a press conference on April 7.
Des Moines Register
Iowa’s small-business owners have filed 14,000 applications for grants totaling $148 million for relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday.
The applications came through a small-business relief program Reynolds announced two weeks ago to help businesses impacted by COVID-19. Reynolds said Wednesday she was expanding the money available for the grant program from $4 million to $24 million — far short of the amount that would be needed to meet all businesses’ requests.
Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said that the first round of applications, totaling about $10 million, was approved Tuesday. She said additional grants will be awarded throughout the week until the program hits its $24 million cap. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $25,000.
The first round of funding assists about 500 restaurants, bars and breweries in Iowa impacted by the pandemic, Reynolds said. Seventy-two of those businesses are in Polk County, according to a list from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
“These businesses were among the first to close their normal operations, and it is our goal to get them back up and running as soon as possible,” Reynolds said.
Durham said the state “triaged” the applications, awarding grants to those that had experienced the greatest disruption in revenue. She said businesses that are not awarded grant funding this week will be considered if the state expands funding for the program, but there will not be a new application period.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announces the expansion of the small business relief program for businesses closed during the coronavirus outbreak.
Des Moines Register
In addition, businesses filed 5,700 applications for a 60-day tax referral. Reynolds said the state expects to approve 2,300 of those this week and is in the process of reviewing the rest. She said all applicants in good standing with the Iowa Department of Revenue will have their deferral applications granted. Businesses can continue to apply for deferrals through April.
Reynolds and Durham described the state business relief program as a “stopgap” until Iowa can better understand how it can use its share of money from the latest federal stimulus that Congress passed last month. Of the $24 million total, $17 million comes from Iowa’s economic emergency fund and $7 million comes from existing money in the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Iowa expects to receive a $1.25 billion block grant as part of that stimulus, Reynolds said, and expects to get more guidance from the federal government about how it can use that money within the next week.
Reynolds did not close any new business closures or issue a formal “shelter-in-place” order on Wednesday.
She has resisted mounting calls to issue such an order, arguing the proclamations she’s issued over the past month amount to the same thing in the end: a clear directive to Iowans to stay home and self-isolate in the face of a spreading coronavirus pandemic.
After taking new measures this week to further limit nonessential businesses and gatherings, some public health figures now say Iowa is roughly on par with those aggressive orders in other states — one month after the state saw its first positive coronavirus case.
On Wednesday, Reynolds announced 97 new cases of coronavirus, with a total of 1,145 cases in Iowa. The virus is now confirmed to be in 79 of Iowa’s 99 counties. The total number of negative tests in Iowa is 12,821.
One new death was announced Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 27.
Reynolds also said 431 people have recovered from the virus, or 38% of Iowa’s total cases.
The latest on the coronavirus: How Iowa is responding to the pandemic
Sarah Reisetter, the deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, said Tuesday health care workers account for 22-23% of all the positive test results, underlining “why it is so important for people to stay at home, because we need to make sure that that health care workforce is protected and stays well.”
On Wednesday, Reisetter said Iowa continues to face a shortage of personal protective equipment like gloves and face masks and is working with private companies and other governments to obtain more of that equipment. But she said Iowa currently has the hospital capacity to handle the number of cases in the state.
“I think we feel pretty good from a resource standpoint in terms of beds and ventilators at this particular point in time based on what we’re seeing, but again, critical to all of this is it really is important for all Iowans to continue to stay home; leave only for essentials,” she said.
Gov. Reynolds full COVID-19 press conference on Tuesday, April 7
Des Moines Register
Register reporter Tyler Jett contributed to this story.
Stephen Gruber-Miller covers the Iowa Statehouse and politics for the Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8169. Support reporters who follow your government by becoming a subscriber. Sign up at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.
Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2020/04/08/iowa-kim-reynolds-coronavirus-briefing-wednesday-shelter-in-place-covid-19-stay-at-home/2966864001/
All copyrights for this article are reserved to Corona Virus