U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross speaking with attendees at the 2018 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Wednesday announced that the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $13.1 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs). Those funds will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Iowa.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” Ross said. “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.”

Some of Iowa’s elected officials responded to the announcement. 

“I’m glad the Economic Development Administration has awarded $13.1 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to support communities across Iowa,” U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. “Communities both small and large have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. By using these grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds, they can help coronavirus impacted businesses to retain and create jobs while continuing to innovate during these trying times.”  

“COVID19 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,” Governor Kim Reynolds said. “These resources come at a critical time for our state as we focus on combating the virus and reopening the economy. I want to thank President Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and the entire Administration for being a strong, consistent partner for Iowa during these unprecedented times.”

As this pandemic continues, Iowa’s small businesses are continuing to face dire economic circumstances – and I’m still hearing from business owners that need additional assistance to keep them afloat,” U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, who represents Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, said. “I’m pleased to see more than $2.6 million in funding approved by Congress coming back to help small businesses in central and southwest Iowa preserve jobs, keep their bills paid, and continue serving our communities.”

The EDA investments announced are:

  • East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will receive a $4.675 million to provide loans to affected businesses in Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties.
  • Region XII Council of Governments, Carroll, Iowa, will receive a $2 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant loans to affected businesses in Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, and Sac counties.
  • Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, West Burlington, Iowa, will receive a $1.65 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa counties retain and create jobs and innovate their operations.
  • Southern Iowa Development Group Inc., Creston, Iowa, will receive a $1.529 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor and Union counties.
  • Iowa Northland Regional Economic Development Commission, Waterloo, Iowa, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, and Grundy counties to diversify the region’s agriculture-focused economy, sustain the workforce, and foster growth opportunities.
  • Mid-Iowa Development Association Council of Governments, Fort Dodge, Iowa, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster, and Wright counties.
  • Mid-Iowa Development Fund, Inc., Polk City, Iowa, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Story, Boone, Marion, and Warren counties.
  • North Iowa Area Council of Governments, Mason City, Iowa, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, and Worth counties.
  • Southwest Iowa Planning Council, Atlantic, Iowa, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to support affected businesses in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Montgomery, Shelby, and Page counties.
  • Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, Pottsville, Iowa, will receive a $549,831 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide loans to affected businesses in Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.

These grantees are among the more than 850 existing EDA RLF, Economic Development District, University Center, and Tribal grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

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