Small Business Solutions: COVID-19 Response

Below is a list of TIPS & resources available for small businesses as support through this time...

Iowa Workforce Development: COVID-19 Unemployment Relief 

Application for Iowa Small Business Relief Fund Program: 

Coping with COVID-19 Video Series from UNI:

Iowa Small Business Relief Grant and Tax Deferral Application: COVID-19

The purpose of Iowa Small Business Relief Grant and Tax Deferral is to provide financial assistance and/or tax deferral to businesses that are experiencing business interruption due to the COVID-19 virus. 

Who is Eligible?

- Businesses employing between 2-25 employees prior to March 17, 2020*

- Businesses must have a physical location within Iowa; and

- Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus

*2-25 Employees Defined:

- The goal of the program is to assist as many eligible businesses in maintaining operations or reopening business and limit the economic impact for as many Iowa small business employees as possible.

- Full and part-time employees must be greater than 2 but must not exceed 25.

- Sole proprietors are eligible applicants but must have at least two employees. This can include one owner and one part or full time employee.

Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund

COVID-19 Relief Grant Program via the Iowa Economic Development Association:

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. Click here to learn more and apply.

Tips for Small Businesses: 

 ✓ If your business is staying open, publish commitment to public health and outline actions for ensuring a clean facility and healthy staff; have hand sanitizer available for customers and latex gloves available for employees 

✓ Offer digital gift cards that customers and patrons can buy now and use later 

✓ Start, maintain, and enhance business webpages, online shopping opportunities, and social media presence 

✓ Keep customers updated on new experiences or products you'll offer when conditions improve 

✓ Develop customer membership programs, such as “subscribe and save” on delivery or pickup of coffee beans, fresh produce, etc. 

✓ Develop online shopping list services. For example, many grocery stores offer grocery pickup or delivery to customers who submit shopping lists online. 

✓ Offer digital services and support to virtually sell, answer questions, and provide customer service 

✓ Keep it lively! Offer trivia nights via livestream and provide virtual tours of your shop  

Social Media Resources:

— Social Media Training for Beginners 

— How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 7 Easy Steps 

— Facebook for Business Resources 

Co.Starters Recovery Guide 

Resources to help small businesses reimagine and rebuild. Click here for the Co.Starters Recovery Guide.

Facebook for Small Business Grant Program 

Area Businesses Open for Carry-Out as of 3/23/2020: 

(Below is a link for their Facebook page, if available and phone number.)

Deb's Brewtopia (563) 880-5666

Elkader Pizzeria (563) 245-2800

Fast Trak (563) 245-2852
Fennellys' Irish Pub (563) 245-3663

General Store and More (563) 245-1799
Johnson's Restaurant & Reception Hall (563) 245-2371
Pedretti's Bakery (563) 245-1280
Pronto Market (563) 245-1176
Schera's Restaurant and Bar (563) 245-1992
Subway (563) 245-2722
Treats on Bridge Street Bistro (563) 245-2242
TD's Sports Bar and Grill (563) 245-2541
The Store (563) 245-2787
Wilke's (563) 245-2413


Additional information & resources: 

Resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty (Google)

SBDC Resources

SBA Resources

Marketing Your Business or Community in This Time of the COVID-19 Coronavirus — (Locable)

Webinar Link to Register Roger Brooks: Special Event: Dealing with the Coronavirus: What do do immediately, to help save the tourism industry & our downtowns 

Things you can do to stay relatively safe without destroying small business:

✓ Shop local, dine local.  Many of our stores & restaurants are still open!  If your business is open - tell people!  Prop your door open once the weather is nice enough.  

✓ As business leaders, practice extra precautions and let your customers know that you are doing so - tell people how you are keeping them safe through your social media accounts & websites.  Use a timer to prompt cleaning.  

✓ Market your slow times - customers might be more willing to visit when they know there won't be crowds.  

✓ Expand your product line - make additions or mix up what you generally offer that may not be readily available right now & market those new products to your customers. 

✓ This may be a good time to explore e-commerce for your business.  Find out which of our local businesses already are doing this & shop small online. 

✓ Get creative: offer delivery or curbside pick-up, offer touch-free payment options, do a virtual tour of your business, video call with clients, create a subscription service

✓ Reevaluate your processes & marketing strategies  

Please contact Kate Lower at Main Street Elkader for more information and to answer any questions. We are here to help our community and the businesses of Elkader get through this challenging time!