Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response & Information

On Thursday, April 17, 2020, one month will have passed since Governor Kim Reynolds formally declared a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency in Iowa. It was the first of several declarations that would be issued in the following weeks that closed businesses, limited public gatherings and took other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A lot has happened since then. Every single person in our community and region has been affected by this economically. Tragically, some have been affected personally, because they or a loved one has contracted COVID-19. Above all else, everyone involved with the Johnston Economic Development Corporation wishes for the health and safety of every person in our community and extended families. We encourage everyone to continue the recommended best practices for social distancing, hand-washing, and … all of it. We are grateful for the work of our health care providers, first responders, and anyone who is performing an essential function.

Johnston Economic Development Corporation is monitoring the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our local business community. It has long been our mission to foster growth and economic development in Johnston, and during these uncertain times, we are committed to helping businesses and employees combat the effects of COVID-19. On this page, we have compiled a list of programs and resources, and we will continue to update this list as additional resources become available.

 (COVID-19) Conference Call

From the start of the COVID-19 emergency Johnston Economic Development has hosted weekly conference calls inviting our membership as well as local, regional and state officials to participate and discuss COVID related topics. The conference calls were recently adjusted to be bi-weekly. The next call will take place on Thursday, May 21st at 1 PM in conjunction with the May JEDCO Board Meeting. Click here to join the meeting.

COVID-19 Business Survey Results

As an organization charged with supporting business growth in the community, the Johnston Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO) has participated in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Without claiming any scientific rigor, the opinions of business owners and operators were sought concerning their status and the extent to which the recovery efforts have helped them in the near term. Nearly 60 responses to an electronic survey were received from businesses representative of the community. The largest group was in the category of 2 to 5 employees, but businesses of all sizes responded, ranging from sole proprietors to larger corporations. Here’s what we learned.

Small Business Recovery Grant Program Launched

The anticipated Small Business Recovery Grant program has launched. Businesses may seek grants of between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00. Applications are now being accepted online.

Applications for assistance will be accepted until Midnight on May 31, 2020.

The application deadline for the Small Business Recovery Grant program has been extended to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. The grant program will be available for sole-proprietors or businesses with 0 – 30 employees that have had restrictions placed on their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are also encouraged to apply for Paycheck Protection Program funding, in addition to the Small Business Recovery Grant. 

The initiative has been organized by Polk County, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the City of Des Moines with financial support coming from area cities (including Johnston and Urbandale) and from area businesses. The Johnston City Council has pledged $50,000.00 to the effort, which will be matched by resources from Polk County and the private sector contributors. JEDCO has pledged $2,500.00 to the cause as well.

 Questions should be directed to the Iowa Center for Economic Success at (515) 283-0940 or smallbizfunding@theiowacenter.org.

Resources for the Business Community

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Des Moines Partnership is continuing to monitor the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the region, providing updates and resources to the working community of the Des Moines metro. From learning opportunities to business assistance, they are doing their best to help employers and employees be prepared.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy, and the SBA is committed to assisting businesses during this time. As the situation with COVID-19 remains ongoing, business owners should continue to check in on what options may be available to them.

Iowa Economic Development Authority

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19 closures and postponements, Iowa Economic Development Authority continues to gather resources and information that may be of use to  partners and businesses statewide.

Iowa Workforce Development

To combat many of the negative economic effects of COVID-19,  Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Workforce Development have implemented an assistance program aimed at employers facing layoffs and the employees impacted by them. Additionally, IWD provide various resources for finding temporary employment and understanding unemployment insurance.

Iowa State University Center for Industrial Research and Service

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, there are a number of measures manufacturers can take to stay safe and slow spreading. ISU’s Center for Industrial Research an Service (CIRAS) has provided various educational guides and direct support to those in industrial businessmen in order to help them plan, prepare, protect and recover their operations.

What Locals Need to Know

City of Johnston

The health and wellness of the City of Johnston residents and employees is a top priority. The City continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and will follow guidance from the Polk County Health Department.

Johnston Chamber of Commerce

Your Johnston Chamber of Commerce is working diligently to serve the community in a positive and encouraging way. Please visit their website to learn about which businesses are operational in Johnston, including restaurants, churches, grocery stores, etc.

Johnston Partnership

The Johnston Partnership has altered its operation procedures In order to protect the community and volunteer staff. Please visit the website to learn more about opportunities to volunteer or donate, or visit to learn about receiving services and goods from the pantry during this time.

DART

In order to promote health and safety throughout the Des Moines metro, DART has made changes to operation procedures and has suspended collecting fares. These efforts will help operators and riders practice social distancing while still serving the population that relies on this service.

Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. Stay in-the-Know.

COVID-19 in Iowa

For information about employment, education, transportation and travel, public safety and more, this website has links to all the resources and maps you need to stay informed.

Governor’s Newsroom

Follow important updates from Governor Kim Reynolds as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Iowa, impacting the day-to-day life of citizens and the economy,

Iowa DPH

Learn more information about the global outbreak of COVID-19, and find resources with information about its impact and about prevention.