COVID-19 has affected area businesses with some closing either temporarily or permanently due to a lack of traffic and sales. The downturn is directly related to people staying more at home and not buying or making purchases online. Many local businesses have made online platforms to purchase goods and services. Local bars and restaurants have suffered even more because people are staying home.
Governor Reynolds has allocated $40 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide financial relief for eligible restaurants and bars that were impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program will assist many Iowa establishments that were among the most directly and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures and mitigation efforts.
Brook Boehmler with the John Pappajohn Center at NIACC outlined that the program is for area bars and restaurants.
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.
Area bars and restaurants interested in recouping losses during this time can go online to apply.