Covid-19 Update

The Iowa Cultural Coalition (ICC), along with our partners at the state and federal levels, are closely monitoring developments related to economic relief for arts and cultural workers, businesses, and organizations impacted by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. 
The ICC will provide updates and advocacy points, in coordination with our partners, as information becomes available.  Be patient as resources are being developed and be positive in your advocacy efforts.
State Update
Iowa Small Business Relief Program
On Monday, March 23, Governor Kim Reynolds announced a new Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to any Iowa businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible for a small business relief grant, eligible businesses must:  Be experiencing business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic Have employed between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020 Apply online by March 31 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). 
Grants may range from $5,000-$25,000. The program may be restricted due to funding availability.

For more information, visit
Federal Update
CARES Act Legislation
Late last week, the United States Senate released draft legislation aimed at offering relief to taxpayers and businesses impacted by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act”, or the “CARES Act”, is intended to provide emergency assistance and health care response for affected individuals, families, and businesses.

The CARES Act includes several important provisions related to the arts and culture and creative industries.  The version of the Senate bill released Sunday includes $100 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), with 40% allocated to state arts agencies and 60% apportioned to direct grants. A separate draft bill, released by the U.S. House of Representatives, includes $300 million each for the NEA, NEH, and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
There are also provisions that would make self-employed individuals and arts nonprofits and businesses eligible for forgivable SBA loans to cover payroll costs, mortgage/lease obligations and utilities; and to provide unemployment assistance for self-employed workers. 
Negotiations between the U.S. Senate and Federal government are continuing.
What You Can Do

We encourage you to stay active, informed, and engaged during this period. Now is an important time to advocate for the importance of the arts and culture industry to the U.S. and Iowa economy, K-12 and higher education, and the health and wellness of our communities.
Specifically, we encourage you to:
 Contact your Members of Congress about the importance of relief for freelance workers, artists, and small businesses, in addition to cultural nonprofits. (names below are linked to their contact site)
Senator Chuck Grassley
Senator Joni Ernst
Congresswoman Cindy Axne
Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer
Congressman Dave Loebsack
Congressman Steve King

 Share the financial impact of COVID-19 on your organizationso we can more clearly advocate to elected officials, funders, and policy makers. 
The Iowa Cultural Coalition recommends that you include these priorities in your emails to Congressional members, along with a very brief statement of how the crisis has personally impacted you and/or your organization.

 Ensure that forgivable SBA disaster relief loans are streamlined and support all arts and culture workers and nonprofits.Support pandemic unemployment benefits for workers ineligible for state unemployment benefits, which will provide essential support for self-employed workers in the arts and culture sector.Support significant COVID-19 relief funding to be administered by the NEA, NEH, and IMLS.Encourage charitable giving by increasing the allowable amount of the proposed $300 above-the-line tax deduction, available to taxpayers who do not itemize their returns.Ensure arts eligibility for additional forms of disaster relief that will support communities during the COVID-19 crisis. 
We will provide additional updates as details are confirmed. 
Tom Smull
President, Board of Directors
Iowa Cultural Coalition