Business

Iowa receives $13.1 million federal grant for small business gap funding

U.S. Department of Commerce allocates $4.675 million to East Central Iowa Council of Governments

(Gazette file photo)
(Gazette file photo)

Some $13.1 million in federal “gap” funding is coming to Iowa to provide small businesses with revolving loans.

The Cedar Rapids-based East Central Iowa Council of Governments — which covers Linn, Johnson, Washington, Benton, Iowa and Jones counties — will get $4.675 million.

The loans are to be used “to strengthen the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and support industry sectors that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19,” according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Association.

The money comes from the federal CARES Act funding.

Unlike other benefits from the CARES Act, like the Payroll Protection Program that went directly to businesses, the revolving loans will routed through regional government or economic development organizations.

“These investments will provide small businesses across Iowa with the necessary capital to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

The announcement earned praises from elected Iowa officials.

“COVID-19 has forced us not only to rethink how we live and work but also restructure our economy to continue feeding, fueling and manufacturing high-quality products for the world,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement.

“These resources come at a critical time for our state as we focus on combating the virus and reopening the economy.”

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, said he, too, was pleased with the news.

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“We must do all we can to ensure our small businesses are able to safely reopen and thrive,” he said in a statement.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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