In an effort to continue to serve our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development has compiled resources available to communities, businesses, local governments, and nonprofits on this page by area of interest. Information about our virtual program offerings is also available here.
We will continue to update this page as available resources and programming evolve, so check here often.
Retail Ready for the Holidays: Innovative Ideas. Holiday shopping in 2020 will be totally different. Shoppers are hungry for a traditional shopping experience that is safe yet satisfying. Good news, resources and ideas are available to assist retailers in thinking creatively about how to provide an enticing experience for their shoppers. The time to begin planning for holiday shopping is now! Retail Ready for the Holidays: Innovative Ideas (free download).
Retail Design Creative Practices. As retail stores reopen, retailers need to implement required changes to their stores for the safety of their customers and employees. Now is a time for retailers to also utilize some of retail design's best practices to maximize their customers' shopping experiences, take this opportunity to get creative with Retail Design Creative Practices (free download).
Retail Ready to Open Resources. Iowa's remaining retailers were allowed to re-open in May. These reopening resources are still helpful to make sure you are ready to welcome your customers. Retail Ready to Open Resources
Back to Business Iowa podcasts. Episodes cover relevant topics for businesses and individuals related to education, research, and technical assistance. Podcasts offer information such as some of the funds and programs available, cash flow analysis etc. Episodes are in English and Spanish Listen here! and leave us a review if you liked it.
Stand Strong After COVID-19 Disruption: Steps to take now. COVID-19 is an unprecedented world-wide disruption in this era of globalization, impacting the bulk of small businesses everywhere. As a small business owner or entrepreneur what can you do now? The Iowa Retail Initiative is preparing a five part series on: Business Model Planning, Building Team Capacity, Systems, Contingency Planning and Wellness. To learn about these resources, contact Victor Oyervides, Retail Business Specialist, at (319) 321-9623.
- Part one: Business Model Planning - don’t let the future Recovery Phase of COVID-19 catch you empty handed. Pivot your business model now. This framework will guide you on rethinking and resetting your business model. Free download!
- Part two: Build Team Capacity - in this second step, the spotlight is on small business owners and entrepreneurs implementing on short notice a strategy for Capacity Building within their respective organizational structure. Prioritize investing in your number one asset, your employees. Free download!
- Part three: Systems -- in this third step, as small business owners and entrepreneurs it is crucial to devote time and effort in seeking to intertwine the whole business model via efficient and effective systems and processes. The present crisis and onward necessitates the right tools and resources (business systems) for advantageous outcomes. Free download!
- Step four: Business Continuity Plan -- in this fourth step, you will go over the steps to take to be better prepared for the future. What caught many small businesses unguarded? The lack of a Business Continuity Plan. The Business Continuity Plan is one of the most underrated elements in a small business, but in this new normal, all businesses require one. Free download!
- Step five: Wellness Program - in this step, the goal is to build a culture, from ownership to management to employees, of wellbeing and growth to include safety, security, and health. It is important to consider is that a Wellness Program is a long-term investment which can’t be measured successfully in 2 to 3 months. Continuously engage management and workforce in order to adjust as needed to offer a culture of wellbeing and growth. Here's your free download.
Small Biz best practices. Business is not as usual for all small businesses during this pandemic time. Now is the time to get creative and learn great ways to connect with customers through some best practices you can implement in your own business or in your communities.
Information about the CARES Act-PPP and EIDL. FAQ’s for small business--how to navigate the application and eligibility criteria for both stimulus programs. Contact: Steve Adams, email@example.com, 712-309-1830
COVID-19 responses for farms, food business and food systems practitioners. COVID-19 has brought into question our food supply chain and what will occur with continued isolation and closures of businesses; this webpage will be updated in collaboration with several departments as relevant to food and farming and business sustainability. Contact Courtney Long, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-460-3227.
Grant Writing 101 for Nonprofits. This course offers capacity building for adversely impacted nonprofits. This webpage offers more information. We are moving this to a virtual course for the time being. Contact Jane Goeken, email@example.com, 712-262-8481.
Civic Engagement and Equity
Nonprofit Fundraising During and After COVID-19. Fundraising is critical for the survival of nonprofits; the mission work of many of them is now more important than ever. CED staff have gathered ways nonprofits can transform their fundraising strategy.
Goal Setting, Strategic Planning, Facilitation. Goal setting, strategic planning, and facilitation are more important than ever for nonprofits and local governments. Our staff can help your board or council plot a course to address critical issues, identify priorities, and develop action plans. This webpage offers more information. Contact Lynn Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org, 712-309-2132.
Local Governments and Housing
COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program. Governor Reynolds has allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist Iowans who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 and may be facing housing hardships. This program from Iowa Finance Authority will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure. Quick program overview here.
Pandemic Response Publications for Local Governments. This document walks local government officials through the basic response needed for response and recovery. Contact: Erin Mullenix, email@example.com, 515-244-7282.
Municipal Leadership Academy. This virtual class offers training to city officals in the basics of strategic planning and goal setting. The curriculum has been updated to include emergency response planning. This webpage offers more details. Contact Eric Christianson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-231-6513 or Julie Robison, email@example.com, 515-231-8457.
COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide. USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses, and communities through (1) technical, training, and management assistance; (2) financial assistance; and (3) state and local assistance. Find the COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide here.
Data and Technology
COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Dashboard(s). This webpage contains links to resources and indicators that may help provide decision support for short and long-term planning related to the health of citizens and the economic recovery of communities, counties and the State of Iowa.