More utility-bill help available to small businesses, nonprofits

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Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham, right, announced Friday the extension of the Iowa Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced Friday more small business owners and nonprofits are eligible to receive COVID-19-related financial assistance with electric and natural gas utility bills.

According to the IEDA, eligibility criteria for the Iowa Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program has been expanded to include utility assistance for eligible small businesses and nonprofits for electric or natural gas service provided between March 17  and Oct. 15, 2020.

“We’re pleased to announce the extension and expansion of the utility assistance available to COVID-19 impacted small businesses and nonprofits as they work tirelessly to recover from the far-reaching impacts of the unparalleled pandemic,” said IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham.

Eligible small businesses and nonprofits must have experienced a COVID-19 loss of income. Full eligibility information and the application is available on the IEDA website. The program will accept applications through Oct. 31 or until all funds have been exhausted.

The program provides short-term relief in the form of direct payments to utility providers to be applied to accounts. A minimum of $400 and a maximum of $7,500 can be applied toward utility bill costs by eligible small businesses and nonprofits. The state allocated approximately $14.5 million of federal CARES Act funds for the program when launched in early July.

For more information regarding the Iowa Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program, call 515-348-8914 or toll free 855-300-2342.

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