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IRDC Quarterly Meeting Information

December 16, 2020 Zoom Meeting Recording

September 16, 2020 Zoom Meeting Recording

IRDC Sept 16 2020 ChatBox Chatter

COVID-19 Rural Development Updates

Iowa Small Business Relief Fund Created

Relief Fund Information

Iowa organizations are joining ranks to uplift the small business community throughout the entire state, starting the Iowa Small Business Relief Fund; in response to COVID-19. This alliance includes: The Director’s Council, Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, League of United Latin American Citizens – Iowa (LULAC Iowa), One Voice, Iowa State Extension, DREAM Iowa,  Iowa Community Capital, Ethnic Minorites of Burma Advocacy Center (EMBARC Iowa), Des Moines Branch of the NAACP, Latino Resources of Iowa, and Financial Empowerment Center (DMACC).

Allocation Range


Geographic Range



Businesses disrupted by COVID-19 with 1-7 employees that are not

recipients of Federal and State Small business relief dollars.

​To be eligible, businesses are required to:

​·         have 1-7 employees prior to March 17, 2020

·         be based in Iowa

·         complete the online application

·         provide a 3 month P & L statement/bank statements

·         provide 2019 and 2020 Q1 revenue

Funds could be used for business expenses in including : *

​·         Rent

·         Insurance

·         Utilities

·         Delivery services

·         Product packaging

·         etc.

Questions, email: michael@empowermoney.org

Business Grant Programs Announced:

DSM Register: Iowa offering small businesses up to $25,000 in state grants to stay afloat during coronavirus pandemic

Small businesses can apply for up to $25,000 in state grants to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at a news conference.

The money comes from about $4 million in disaster money approved by the legislature before it postponed its session earlier this month and from existing money in the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Businesses with between 2 and 25 employees prior to March 17 can apply for the grant. Those who receive the grant will automatically be granted a sales and withholding tax extension; businesses that don’t receive the grant can also apply for that. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can also ask for delay in their unemployment tax payment until July 31.

From the IEDA Website:


On Monday, March 23, Governor Reynolds announced a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to any Iowa businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be available on this website on Tuesday, March 24, at 8 a.m. Application deadline is Tuesday, March 31, at 12 p.m.


DSM Business Record: Delta Dental of Iowa and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation today announced two relief programs to offer Iowa dentists and nonprofits financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Delta Dental of Iowa, whose network includes 94% of Iowa’s dentists, has allocated more than $10 million for a new Advance Claims Payment Program, which will provide financial assistance for its network dentists who have been affected by COVID-19 disruptions and address their immediate cash flow needs. The program will provide dentists with advances equal to 50% of their average claims payment for four weeks.

Additionally, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has committed $500,000 for the COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Operating Relief Fund, which will provide operating grants up to $10,000 to Iowa nonprofit organizations focused on providing health and wellness services or addressing food insecurity needs during this crisis.

“These are unprecedented times. As a health and wellness company, we are committed to maintaining our services to our customers, but we wanted to do more for Iowa dentists and our community partners,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa and president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation.

Russell said the advances, which will total more than $10 million, will be sufficient to provide its entire network of more than 1,600 dentists with half of their regular cash flow during the four-week period. Delta Dental estimates that it will completely recoup the advances, which dentists will repay beginning in July over a 20-week period, by the end of this year. For now, the offer is being extended only to its in-network dentists.

“We know that dental visits that have been canceled will be rescheduled — there will be a pent-up demand when this crisis is over,” Russell said. No application fees, interest or other costs will be charged to the dentists for the program, he said.

What if the pandemic keeps dental practices for more than the next four weeks?

“We’ve talked about that,” Russell said. “We think that if this goes much beyond that, there will also be governmental assistance. But we’ll evaluate [if that happens] to see where we can be part of the solution.”

Additionally, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s new COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Operating Relief Grants will be for nonprofits focused on health and wellness services as well as addressing food insecurity needs. Russell said the grants fit in with the foundation’s broader mission now to assist with health and wellness needs, not just dental.

“With so many fundraising events that have been canceled, we think this fund will help these nonprofits to continue their important work,” he said.

These funds can be used to cover fixed operational expenses such as: salaries for medical providers, volunteer coordinators, medical workforce (e.g., lab technicians, CNAs), rent, utilities, Internet, insurance, phone, medical supplies, etc. Nonprofits wanting more information on the grants should go to www.deltadentalia.com/foundation.

“Caring for our communities has been a core value for our company for over 50 years. We want to ensure our dental and nonprofit partners can continue to provide essential health services during this time and into the future. We are all in this together,” Russell said.


Grinnell Chamber Small Business Relief Fund Press Release

IRDC March 18 Zoom Meeting Chat Room

Iowa Council of Foundations: COVID-19 Resources – How You Can Help: Response Funds + Iowa-Based Funds


State loosens unemployment guidelines for workers affected by COVID

HANDOUT_SBA Disaster Assistance_Resources for Businesses Spanish March 16 2020

Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest Employer Resources

Governor’s Emergency Declaration – March 17 2020

Empower Rural Iowa

Empower Rural Iowa Recommendations

Rural Health Care

Seeking a Cure: The Quest to Save Rural Hospitals (IPR)

Options for Maternal Care Dwindle in Rural Iowa (Gazette)

Rural Health Crisis  Seizes States’ Attention (Pew)

Census 2020

State Data Center Launches Website for 2020 Census

Census Seeks More Applicants to Conduct 2020 Count in Iowa

Local Committee Stresses Importance of 2020 Census

IRDC Launches New Website

The Iowa Rural Development Council is pleased to unveil its new website,  which was created by the talented team at Big Imprint, a West Liberty-based websites and marketing firm. “We are thrilled to have Ethan Anderson and the Big Imprint designers on our team,” said IRDC Chair Sandy Ehrig.  “We... Read More →