DES MOINES, Iowa — Bars and restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for a one-time grant through the Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Grant Program starting Feb. 1, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday.
The program will provide $40 million in funding for businesses that experienced a decrease in gross sales during the second and third quarters of 2020 compared to 2019 second and third quarters, according to Reynolds.
"The one-time grants are intended to assist with short-term cash flow," Reynolds said. "And award amounts, up to $25,000, will be tiered based on the percent of lost sales."
The application period begins at 12 p.m. on Feb. 1 and will close at 5 p.m. on Feb. 15. All applications submitted within that time will be considered for an award.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority will release more details on the program next week.
A Thursday press release says $17 million in relief money has been reallocated to local governments for "direct expenses incurred in response to the COVID-19 emergency."
"Of the $17 million remaining from the Local Government Relief Fund, roughly $4.7 million was previously allocated to smaller cities and. to simplify the administration of distribution, is being reallocated to the County the City resides in," the release says.
Reynolds' office says smaller cities rely on county services for things like public health and public safety. Counties do not have to reapply for the additional funds and the state will use the latest application from the Local Government Relief Fund to finalize the reward.
Reynolds said in the release:
“In so many ways COVID-19 has changed the way government serves its citizens, and perhaps the greatest impact has been at the local level. These resources will provide County and City governments with additional assistance to provide essential services to Iowans as they continue to combat the pandemic. I appreciate the unprecedented collaboration we have seen at the state, county, and city level which includes the incredible teams at Iowa State Association of Counties and the Iowa League of Cities."
The governor's office released the following criteria for the funds:
Consistent with the U.S. Treasury Department Guidance, funds may only be used to cover costs that:
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19);
- Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020, for the government entity;
- Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020; and
- Have not been reimbursed or where reimbursement has not been requested from another source of funds including, but not limited to, other federal programs.
Necessary Expenditures Include:
- Acquisition and Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment and Sanitizing Products
- Testing Equipment and Supplies (test kits)
- Other Necessary COVID-19 Medical Supplies and Equipment
Other Related Necessary Expenditures
- Temporary Isolation or Quarantine Sites
- Medical Transportation
- Expenses for Sanitizing Public Areas and other Public Facilities
- Temporary Emergency Staffing and overtime costs for staff that is substantially dedicated to the mitigation or response to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- Payroll costs for public health and public safety employees for services dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- As a matter of administrative convenience in light of the emergency nature of this program, you may presume that 50% payroll costs for public health employees and 50% of payroll costs for public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- Equipment used for the conduct of meetings by telephonic or electronic means
- Software or technology infrastructure to allow for local services to be provided while social distancing
- Additional costs associated with enhanced 211 capabilities
Reynolds' office said she allocated $125 million for reimbursements to local governments for direct expenses incurred due to the pandemic.
WATCH: Gov. Kim Rerynolds' full press conference (Jan. 21, 2021)