OMAHA, Neb. — Iowa state and local officials are pushing for small businesses to continue to apply for the many grants that are still available.
For Council Bluffs store owner David Putnam, nothing about the pandemic has been easy.
"April, May and June are typically my biggest months, busiest months. Since COVID, my business in those months was just about nothing," he said.
His business, Midwest Trophy and Awards, has faced financial hardship. No sports, no tournaments, means no trophies or t-shirts.
Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh knows how hard it's been on his city and hopes businesses take advantage of some of the federal grant money the city received. The city is using the money three ways: helping food banks, residents, and of course small businesses.
"Businesses are eligible for grants from anywhere $2,000-$10,000," Walsh said.
That money can really help businesses like Midwest Trophy and Awards, and other Council Bluffs businesses as well. This pandemic is not the first hardship they've faced recently.
"We started the year recovering from a flood, spent through November dealing with that flooding event, only to be faced with the pandemic," Walsh said.
The grant money is not just local. The Iowa Economic Development Authority has been working closely with businesses since the pandemic began.
"When the program finally closes, at least this phase of it, we will have expended $94 million for small business grants across our state," Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham said.
Back2Biz PPE Initiative - https://advancesouthwestiowa.com/back-2-biz
City of Council Bluffs CBDG – COVID 19 Grants - https://www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2418/COVID-19-Grants-CDBG-CV
IEDA – Utility Disruption Initiative - https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/Business/energy-recovery
Shop Iowa Initiative - https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/shopiowa