CORONAVIRUS

Businesses asked to take survey to guide response to COVID-19

Plans coming at state, local level 'to get them back on their feet'

Signs give special instructions to COVID-19 patients and those with symptoms of the virus outside the emergency care uni
Signs give special instructions to COVID-19 patients and those with symptoms of the virus outside the emergency care unit entrance Wednesday at Mercy Iowa City. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Economic Development Authority is asking all businesses throughout the state to provide input to help assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa.

A survey developed by the University of Northern Iowa — Institute for Decision Making asks businesses to answer what they are experiencing and how they are handling the COVID-19 crisis. The deadline to complete the survey is 5 p.m. Monday.

People can find the survey by going to IowaEconomicDevelopment.com and clicking “COVID-19 Response and Resources.” Questions about the survey can be directed to businessrecovery@iowaeda.com.

Data from the survey is expected to guide Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Legislature and the authority in planning “an effective, comprehensive and appropriate” public policy response, the authority said.

The survey is one of several indicators organizations are taking note of the severe impact COVID-19 is having on the business community.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance has created a COVID-19 resource page on its website at CedarRapids.org with updates about unemployment insurance, the status of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and other details.

In Cedar Rapids, City Manager Jeff Pomeranz noted city staff members are developing a plan to help businesses.

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“Our city staff is working on a package to provide support to our local businesses, particularly our small businesses, to get them back on the feet,” Pomeranz said Wednesday.

Pomeranz noted it would take time to finalize the plan and had no further details.

Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker encouraged residents to continue to support small local businesses when possible.

“We know this will be a painful time for working people and small businesses, so as best as you can, I encourage you to patronize these businesses in ways that are safe and appropriate,” he said, noting restaurants still are preparing meals for takeout, and he stops at a cafe to grab a cup of coffee.

Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

Thomas Friestad of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.