Uptown Marion and the Marion Chamber of Commerce are closely monitoring the development and impacts of COVID-19 and share the measures being taken to ensure health, safety, and business continuity of our members. We will continue to make informed decisions led by best practices and factual updates from trusted sources including: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , World Health Organization, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Small Business Administration (SBA) and others.
This page will be updated regularly with pertinent information for businesses and nonprofits.
BUSINESS DISASTER FUNDING
IOWA SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND
On March 23, Governor Reynolds announced a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to Iowa businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is NOT first-come, first-served. All applications received by the deadline, March 31 at 12:00 p.m. (noon), will be reviewed for consideration. Please review the required documents before starting the online application.
TARGETED SMALL BUSINESS SOLE OPERATOR FUND
A fund has been created to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will process applications in order of receipt of application and submission of all required documents until funds are exhausted. Please review the requirements and eligibility guidelines here before starting an application.
LATEST PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
STATE AND FEDERAL RESOURCES
BUSINESS RESOURCES & BEST PRACTICES
- Small Business Crisis Checklist
- Review your supply chain and analyze the potential impact and alternatives for supplies.
- Review finances, work on contingencies of how to manage finances should a business begin to slow, talk with your banker about options that you can tap into should the need arise.
- Talk with your business insurance provider as well.
- If the business does slow, document your losses. If the COVID-19 situation escalates, disaster declarations could be made that trigger the availability of federal economic injury assistance for small businesses. View guidance and information from the Small Business Administration.
- Visit the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) website here for information on how to learn more about protecting your business, managing operations, and planning for supply chain disruptions.
- Restaurant Resources from National Restaurant Association
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act – resources from MRA
- MRA Contagious Diseases & Pandemic Toolkit– inform your employees on best practices to help stop the spread of common illnesses such as the flu, as well as preparing for a pandemic
- SHRM– Numerous tools available for workplace issues related to COVIN-19
- US Chamber of Commerce– Resources & guidelines for business
- Keep communicating with your team as well. They need your leadership and certainty.
- Give employees flexibility when possible
- Be obsessive about hygiene
- Shift your sales strategy online
- Consider business interruption insurance
- Establish a remote work option and/or make changes to staffing. There are a number of great tools out there that can maximize productivity, and cloud storage like GoogleDrive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive are increasingly cost-effective.
- For meetings with large groups, consider moving online. You can still get the work done, and it may actually save you time. Zoom, GoToMeetings, Microsoft Teams are all great tools for this.
- Keep communicating with your customers and stay active on social media. Let your customers know that you are open for business or remind them how you can help. Let them know what you are doing to protect their health as well.
- If you are in retail or service or another public-facing business, what can you do to protect both your customer base and your employees? Leverage technology and easy pick-up or delivery, for example.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS
Our small businesses need us more than ever. Our online directory is great place to start.
- Shop Where I Live – many local businesses have an online store. You can help with click of a button.
- Buy Gift cards
- If you are doing business with a local provider and your needs have changed, do your best to postpone the work and not cancel.
- Marion Delivery, Carry-out & Curbside – a Facebook group for restaurants, retail, and services to communicate how they are serving under operating constraints. Followed by 1000’s of locals keeping up to date.
- Like and share posts from businesses you follow
Uptown Events/Meetings Postponed or Canceled
- All in person Committee Meetings, Sub Committees, and Uptown Adviser Meetings will be canceled or held virtually through May 12
- March 25th – National Main Street Visit – Rescheduled to September 2nd
- April 2nd – Wake Up Marion @ Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty – Canceled
- April 2nd – Uptown Real Estate Showcase – Canceled – Looking at opportunities to reschedule
- April 3rd – Main Street Iowa Awards – Canceled
- April 25th – Ladies Day Out – Canceled – Looking at opportunities to promote online shopping
- May 16th – Marion Arts Festival – Being Evaluated
- Open 4 Business Competition – Held Virtually