Ames Chamber of Commerce


Re-Opening Business Resource Guide

 The Ames Chamber of Commerce has put together this re-opening resource guide with best practices and tips to keep in mind when re-opening your business to the public. Download and print this guide today!



Employer (HR Related Resources)


  • NEW: Ames Chamber of Commerce is offering technical assistance to businesses in Story County.
  • Businesses who opt-in will participate in a one-hour video conference with a member of the Business Development Team to discuss their current challenges and then the realities of opening up. Our team will share some best practices and tie it directly to their business so they have some true actionable items.
  • CLICK HERE to sign up for the Technical Assistance Program

Financial Assistance

  • Federal

    • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Iowa Small Businesses

      • Small non-farm businesses in 31 Iowa counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary counties that began Aug. 4, 2020.
      • Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
      • Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
    • Paycheck Protection Program

      • Treasury and SBA have unveiled a streamlined forgiveness application for the Paycheck Protection program. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
      • Are self-employed and have no employees, OR
      • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
      • Experienced reductions in business activity because of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
      • The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  
      • Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. Learn More


    • Federal Reserve Main Street Lending ProgramThe Federal Reserve has established a Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will operate through three loan facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF). See your lender for guidance.

    • U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – EIDLs of up to $2 million are now available to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses. Iowa applications are currently being accepted at
    • Employee Retention Tax Credit Under the CARES Act - The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.  Please see additional information HERE.
  • Iowa

    • Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Table Remains the Same for 2021 - Iowa Workforce Development announced that the unemployment insurance tax rates for Iowa employers will remain unchanged for 2021.  In June 2020, Gov. Reynolds directed $490 million of the State’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act Coronavirus relief funds to be deposited into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  This deposit ensured that Iowa would  remain in Tax Table 7 for 2021.

    • Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention - Utility bill assistance is now available. Electric and natural gas utility bill assistance for actual utility debt incurred for electric or natural gas service provided between March 17, 2020, and June 30, 2020, not to exceed $7,500. Learn more here.

    • Iowa Nonprofit Recovery FundFinancial Assistance Now Available to Eligible Nonprofits Impacted by COVID-19.

      • The program will provide short-term relief to nonprofit organizations that have seen reduced revenue and/or increased costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible nonprofits may be awarded a grant of up to $25,000, based on income, expenses, outstanding obligations and other state and federal assistance received. The program has $10 million available, which was allocated through federal CARES Act funds.

      • Initially, eligible nonprofits must be a 501 (c)(3), 501 (c)(6) or 501 (c)(19), be based in Iowa and have:

        • Experienced a documented, involuntary loss of revenue and/or increase in expenses that occurred after March 1, 2020, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
        • An annual operating budget of more than $25,000
        • Twenty-five or fewer full-time equivalent employees
        • A primary mission to serve the program’s priority service populations
      • For more information on eligibility and assistance or to apply, visit Applications will be reviewed in the order received and awarded on a first come, first ready to process basis. Applications will be accepted until August 14 at 5:00 p.m. or until funds have been exhausted, whichever comes first.

    • IEDA Announces COVID-19 Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program - The program will provide short-term relief to eligible small businesses and nonprofits that faced significant hardship in the payment of utility bills for service provided during the months of disruption to their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers grants up to $7,500 to be applied to utility bill debt for eligible small businesses.
      • A funding allocation of $14.5 million from the CARES Act is available to IEDA for this initiative. To be eligible to receive assistance, businesses must have:

        • a physical (non-residential) location in Iowa and 50 or fewer employees;
        • not received funding from the IEDA’s Small Business Relief Grant Program;
        • experienced a COVID-19 loss of revenue on or after March 17, 2020, that resulted in unpaid bills for electric or natural gas service provided between March 17, 2020, and June 30, 2020; and
        • remained in operation or re-opened at the time of application.
      • For a full list of eligibility requirements, additional information and to apply, visit Applications will be accepted between July 17, 2020, and August 21, 2020, or until funding is depleted, whichever comes first.
  • Other

    • Small Business Relief Initiative - GoFundMe: GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to create a Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these three companies has contributed $500,000 to the Fund, and it's receiving additional donations from the public. The fund will provide $500 grants to any small business that raises $500 on GoFundMe.
    • From The Red Backpack Fund and GrantSpace to Hello Alice and SheaMoisture open Variety of Grant Programs for specific information. 

Business to Business Specials

Alpha Copies & FASTSIGNS Letter size color copies are just 5/$1 and banners are only $3/sq. ft.

Global Reach: 3 years financing on new projects with 0% interest.

Mayfair Cleaners: Mayfair Cleaners is glad to launder any medical staff scrubs or uniform clothing worn while in the clinic at no charge. This applies to scrubs and uniforms that are owned-by and otherwise cleaned-by individual healthcare workers. All cleaning will be processed and completed for pick up at Mayfair Cleaners (508 Lincoln Way in Ames) the following business day. Please use a bag to contain soiled uniforms and seal if possible. 

To drop off, please include a slip of paper (or write directly on the outside of the bag) including first and last name and telephone number. We also have a drop box available 24/7.

PC Matic: PC Matic is offering free cybersecurity and remote management tools to companies & organizations who are implementing work from home policies. These tools will be available at no cost through June 30, 2020.

Staples: Staples is ready to help with your re-opening needs! Please feel free to come in and talk with our team of experts, we have many pre packaged deals or we can help you create one that is unique to your business. Check out the packages today! - Offering KN95 masks; purchase masks for healthcare providers proceeds will be donated to support a local small business.

Pages to Monitor

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