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Utility help for small businesses available now  Smart Choices Archive

Utility help for small businesses available now

Image: iStock

Business Development

As we all are well aware, Iowa’s economy has been devastated by business shutdowns due to the COVID pandemic. Everyone has suffered, but small businesses have been especially hard hit.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is implementing a Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program to provide short-term relief to eligible Iowa small businesses and nonprofits. The funding will help companies pay overdue utility bills during this time of business disruption.

The $14.5 million funding for the program comes through the CARES Act and will cover all or a portion of the actual utility debt incurred by businesses between March 17 and June 30, 2020. Businesses may request assistance of $400 to $7,500. Applications opened on July 17 and can be submitted until August 21, unless funding is depleted before that date.

Eligible Applicants and Applying
In broad strokes, businesses and non-profit organizations with fewer than 50 employees are eligible, with some exceptions. Find a listing of the eligible and ineligible businesses on the IEDA site. Other requirements include operating from a commercial location (not a residence), a maximum average electric usage less than 25,000 kWh and average natural gas usage of less than 2,500 therms and no previous IEDA-issued grants for pandemic relief. See all requirements and restrictions on the site.

To apply, applicants will fill out a pre-application form online. If the requirements are met, the applicant will then move on to the application form. If the application is approved, the financial assistance will be a one-time payment applied to the applicant’s utility bill.

For more information, including an FAQ, and to apply, visit iowabusinessrecovery.com. Additional questions? Call IEDA at 1-855-300-2342.

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