New Assistance Programs for Disaster Impacted Businesses

Two new programs developed by the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) were recently approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The programs will utilize Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds.

The Equipment Reimbursement Assistance Program (ERAP) provides funds to aid in the purchase of equipment for businesses that owned their own building or leased rental space during the 2008 disasters.

A qualifying business is one who sustained actual physical damage to machinery, equipment, furniture, inventory or supplies. Additionally, those businesses must be located in a presidentially declared disaster county.

The financial assistance is limited to 75% of the replacement cost of the equipment, and can not exceed a total of $75,000 per business. Furthermore, no business who has already received assistance for these particular losses through insurance, federal funding, state or local grants, forgivable loans or private loans may receive ERAP funds.

No business who has received funds through the Business Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) or the Expanded Business Rental Assistance Program (EBRAP) will be eligible for the new program. In-home businesses are also ineligible.

A second program, the Flood Insurance Reimbursement Program, provides funds to reimburse businesses for the cost of one year of flood insurance.

Businesses eligible for this program must have had flood water in their building during the 2008 disaster or must be located in the 100-year or 500-year flood plain. A business can be eligible under the floodplain criteria even if they moved to that location following the 2008 floods.

Businesses may receive a one-time payment for one year of flood insurance coverage under the program, with a maximum award of $5,000. An eligible policy must fall between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.

According to a May 5th press release from the Rebuild Iowa Office, applications should be made to local Council of Governments or Entitlement cities by December 31, 2010.