The City of Cedar Rapids, in partnership with the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Small Business Development Center and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance have created the Jobs and Small Business Recovery Fund 2016 to assist small businesses in recovering from economic losses due to the recent flood event.
During the late September flood event, a number of small businesses were disrupted within the 28 foot evacuation area. While most did not sustain physical property damage, many were faced with loss of sales and product, as well as costs related to moving items and other flood mitigation measures. There are no known programs to assist with the recovery of these losses, and most businesses did not have insurance for these types of losses.
“Even before the Cedar River crested during last month’s flood event, economic development leaders at the city and throughout the community were starting discussions about how our local businesses would be impacted by this event, and what help may be available,” said Jeff Pomeranz, Cedar Rapids City Manager. “Through this fund, qualifying small businesses can apply for a grant award up to $5,000 to assist with covering losses.”
The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation will open the fund for private donations from corporations and individual contributions and the City of Cedar Rapids will allocate $75,000 from the Cedar Rapids Assistance Revolving Loan Fund for this grant program. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Foundation will serve as the fiscal agent and distribute these grants directly to recipients.
Applications can be made through the Economic Alliance and will be reviewed by a committee consisting of representatives of each of the impacted districts, as well as individuals experienced in reviewing grant applications.
“Grants awarded from the program are not likely to recoup all losses for businesses, but the program is intended to be simple and timely in order to get money into the hands of in-need businesses as quickly as possible,” said Les Garner, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation President.
Applicants must be a for-profit business located in the 28 foot evacuation area declared by the City of Cedar Rapids during the flood. Grants will be awarded to businesses that require a physical location in order to derive revenue, and had at least one day of zero revenue as a direct result of the evacuation. The grant is for those small businesses with 50 employees or less that are reopening after the flood event. The maximum grant amount will be $5,000 or up to 50 percent of lost sales, product and any additional flood mitigation costs.
Applications will be considered in the order they are received. Grants will be distributed until program funds are exhausted or until the Committee determines adequate time has been allowed for businesses to submit applications.
Businesses interested in applying can find the application on the Economic Alliance website cedarrapids.org. Links are also available on the City of Cedar Rapids website (cedar-rapids.org) as well as the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation website (gcrcf.org).
FOR DONORS INTERESTED IN GIVING TO FLOOD FUNDS: https://www.gcrcf.org/donors/ways-give/donate-now/flood-funds/
FOR NONPROFITS, INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL BUSINESSES SEEKING FUNDING: https://www.gcrcf.org/grants/receive-funding-flood-funds/