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Small Business Owners Looking For Financial Assistance While Closed Due To COVID-19

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Small business owners look for financial help during coronavirus pandemic.

Hair Stylist Shellie Flockhart has owned Studio S in Dallas-Center for more than a decade and didn’t know where to turn when Governor Kim Reynolds temporary shutdown hair salons.

“There was a whole gap of anyone who is working by themselves or for themselves that can’t claim unemployment or applied for that last grant we were kind of just out in the dark with nothing available to us,” Flockhart said.

Iowa Economic Development Authority created ‘COVID-19 Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund’ to support businesses with no employees that have been impacted by the pandemic.

The business grants range from $5,000 to $10,000.

“The grant that I applied for today I would say took a half hour, so it’s a lot more of a simple process. You just upload different documents, but I already had those downloaded so I had those ready to go,” Flockhart said.

People interested in the IEDA grant have until April 10th to submit an application.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is also assisting small businesses through an economic disaster loan.

Iowa District Director for SBA Jayne Armstrong said there around 31 million small businesses in the country.

“Right now, we have the economically disaster loans. Those loans are up to small businesses to apply. They are low interest. There is possibility that could be changing, that they could be changing and the interest rates or changing the terms of it as we move forward,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said people have until November to apply for these loans. People can qualify for multiple resources to keep their business financially stable.

“If a business gets one of those grants it doesn’t mean that they are not eligible for the SBA. These are all complimentary programs and we just are encouraging businesses to still go ahead and apply for the SBA disaster loan,” Armstrong said.

SBA’s website has seen heavy traffic and is asking the public to be patient. Armstrong advises people to go online at night and in the early morning when not as many people are active online.

Flockhart said she is selling products online while she waits to reopen her doors.

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