Ames Chamber of Commerce


Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program

October 12 Update: Financial Assistance Available to Eligible Low-Income Iowans for COVID-19 Utility Disruption Prevention 

  • The program will provide eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas and water bills if they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. 
  • Payments through the program will be made directly to utility providers and applied to the applicant’s account.
  • To be eligible to receive assistance, a residential electric, natural gas and/or water utility customer must have: 

    • A primary Iowa residence with active residential utility accounts, renters may apply as long as the utility account is in the applicant’s name; 
    • An unpaid utility bill balance or have previously entered into a payment plan with their utility provider;
    • An annual income that is 80% of the median family income, based on county and household size 
    • Experienced a COVID-19 loss of income (job loss, reduction in hours, reduction in pay) on or after March 17, 2020, that resulted in hardship in paying bills for electric, natural gas and/or water utility service provided between March 17, 2020, and October 31, 2020. 
  • For a full list of eligibility requirements, additional information and to apply, visit Applications will be accepted between October 8, 2020, and November 20, 2020, or until funding is depleted, whichever comes first.


September 14 Update: New IowaWORKS mobile app helps job seekers connect with workforce services 

  • Iowa Workforce Development announced the launch of the new IowaWORKS mobile application that expands work search services for Iowans.  The mobile app is an extension of the employment services system, which helps job seekers update their resumes, search for jobs, and communicate with IowaWORKS staff members. Customers can download the app at no cost to them through Google Play or the Apple App Store.
  • IowaWORKS Mobile App Features:
    • Customize and save job searches
    • Communicate with IowaWORKS staff
    • View jobs from multiple job boards
    • Update resume information
    • Apply for jobs

September 3 Update: The Ames Expansion Office will be re-opening on Tuesday, September, 8th at 9:00 am. We will only be providing basic and limited Employment Services. This would include IowaWORKS registration, assistance with job searches, applications, resume preparation and other services to help Iowans with their employment needs. Customers can call (515) 725-5495 to schedule an appointment. NOTE: Temperatures will be taken at the door. Face coverings are not required, but highly recommended. 

August 21 Update: The State will reinstate the work search requirement on September 8, 2020.

Unemployment – workers impacted by COVID-19 closures can apply online for unemployment benefits. Make sure you are selecting that you are receiving unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 spread. Two new unemployment benefit programs available to Iowans:

  • Lost Wages Assistance Program Payments – Iowa Workforce Development is accepting applications and processing claims under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.  LWA benefit payments will be received by claimants in 5-7 business days.  The LWA program pays eligible claimants an additional $300 per week and the first payment will include retroactive payments to the week ending Aug. 1, 2020. 
    • To receive an LWA benefit payment, claimants must be eligible to receive at least $100 in unemployment benefits per week, and the individual must self-certify that s/he is unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Those who self-certified when they filed their initial claim and are eligible for an LWA benefit payment do not need to take any action because IWD will automatically add the $300 to their weekly benefit amount. 
    • Individuals who did not indicate they were unemployed due to COVID-19 and meet the other eligibility requirements will be asked additional questions on their weekly continued claim reporting to determine their potential eligibility for the LWA program.
    • For more information about the LWA program, please visit the IWD website at:
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – This a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 which provides unemployment insurance benefits to those individuals who have exhausted their state unemployment insurance entitlement.  It is funded by the federal government, not by state unemployment taxes paid by employers. PEUC provides an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to individuals who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits.  Read additional program details here.
  • State Extended Benefits (EB) have been triggered; unemployed workers who exhaust their allotted weeks of regular state unemployment and then the 13 weeks of federal PEUC benefits will now be eligible for State EB, which provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits while State EB is still triggered “On” in Iowa. Additional program details can be found HERE.


Map for Child Care Programs with Vacancies – The Department of Human Services along with Child Care Resource & Referral are updating this list daily for essential staff to access.

Job Opportunities

View immediate job openings at Over 1,500 positions are now available in a variety of industries. Create your free account today.


CDC Temporarily Halts Evictions Nationwide – On September 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency public health order to temporarily halt most evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order’s expected effective date is September 4, the anticipated date of publication in the Federal Register. The order will be effective through December 31. Learn more here.

City of Ames Mortgage, Rent & Utility Relief Program – This program is designed for low-income households impacted by loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic to assist with their mortgage, rent, and utilities. The program is limited to the City Limits of Ames. Learn more here.

Alliant Energy - Alliant Energy energy bill resources HERE

Iowa Housing Recovery Assistance – The Iowa Finance Authority has announced a program designed to assist Iowans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with rental and mortgage assistance.  Applicants must be at or below 80% of the county-wide median income for their household size.  Additional program details can be found HERE.

  • UPDATE: Renters and Homeowners who previously received $600 unemployment benefit now eligible to apply for rent and mortgage assistance. Additional eligibility information is available here.


Iowans who have experienced change in employment status due to COVID-19 may be eligible to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage through  A special enrollment period (SEP) is a period outside of open enrollment when a person can enroll in or switch ACA coverage.

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