COVID-19 Resources

The Mills County Economic Development Foundation (MCEDF) is closely monitoring the changing developments of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on the county, our communities, businesses, and region. Following the example set by major national events, we are canceling, postponing, or exploring virtual options for meetings and events from now through April 17, and will re-evaluate at that time.  Meetings and events that cannot be rescheduled or held virtually will be canceled during this time frame.

The MECDF advise all employers to be ready to implement strategies to protect their organization and their employees from COVID-19.  The implementation of proactive plans will ensure business continuity and overall public safety.  These steps are preemptive and will assist in mitigating risk as you continue business activities.

Please feel free to consider the following advice and resources as you prepare for and experience the impacts of COVID-19:

Planning and Preparedness

While the risk to Mills County citizens and businesses remains relatively low,  Iowa and neighboring Nebraska are experiencing steady increases.  This is an ever changing situation so we encourage you to dedicate time now to firm up your business continuity plans and put needed pieces in motion.  Assuming you have already taken the steps outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some additional tips:

Operations

  • Review your supply chain and analyze potential impact and alternatives for supplies.
  • Review finances, work on contingencies of how to manage finances should business begin to slow, talk with your banker about options that you can tap into should the need arise.  The Iowa Bankers Association has resources at www.iowabankers.com
  • Talk with your business insurance provider to understand how COVID-19 impacts your business and your employees.

If your business is negatively impacted by COVID-19, we highly encourage you to document your losses.  If the COVID-19 situation escalates, disaster declarations could be made that trigger the availability of federal and state assistance for small businesses. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index

Business Locations

  • Complete frequent and deeper cleaning of the office and home. Most Clorox, Lysol and Purell products should fit the bill. A full list of product that can be used during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is here: https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf

Your Employees

  • Keep communicating with your customers, and stay active on social media. Let your customers know that you are open for business, or remind them how you can help. Let them know what you are doing to protect their health as well.
  • Keep communicating with your team as they are critical to your ongoing success. They need your leadership and certainty on the job and at home.
  • Implement work strategies should team members need to work from home. There are a number of great tools available that can maximize productivity, and cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive are increasingly cost effective.
  • The use of Facetime and tools such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype are valuable to conduct virtual meetings and employee training.  You can still get the work done, and it may actually save time and money.
  • Public facing businesses can protect both your customer base and your employees by leveraging technology and offering easy pick-up or delivery options.
  • How will you handle travel?  Many businesses and public agencies are limiting travel.

Shop Local

  • Now, more than ever, small businesses need your support. The Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce www.glenwoodia.com and Malvern Area Betterment Association www.malvernia.com are great places to start.
  • If you are doing business with a local provider and your needs have changed, do your best to postpone the work and not cancel it.

Community Links

We realize that the uptick in cancellations may feel alarming. Remember that these are all strategies to stop the spread as lesson the economic and social impacts.  Stay informed and look for information from reliable and trusted sources, including:

Illness Prevention

While out and about in Mills County, the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Region, or Southwest Iowa, your focus to prevent the spread of disease will help keep our region safe. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If employees feel sick, encourage them to stay home.
  • If you haven't yet, please consider getting a flu shot.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 – 95% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and then wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, computers, phones, break rooms, and work desks.

Iowa Business Recovery Assistance

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19 closures and postponements, we are gathering resources and information that may be of use to our partners across the state. Read the Governor's Public Health Emergency Proclamation.

COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) needs to assess the impact of the pandemic in Iowa. To assist in these efforts, please complete this survey, developed by University of Northern Iowa – Institute for Decision Making, to tell us what your business is experiencing and how your business is handling the current crisis. 

Please forward this link to businesses/attractions/organizations within your membership or communities.

IEDA will use the information collected in this survey to inform its public policy in response to the crisis, as well as potential assistance to businesses. The deadline to complete this survey is Monday, March 23 at 5 p.m.

SBA DISASTER LOAN ASSISTANCE 

As part of the Trump Administration’s effort to combat COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued revised criteria for states or territories seeking economic injury declaration. Because of these revisions, we believe we have sufficient worksheets to seek the declaration and will not need additional injury worksheets at this time.

We will continue to be in contact if we need any additional resources.


CLICK HERE FOR FEDERAL RESOURCES