COVID-19 Business Resources

With the coronavirus pandemic raging across the globe, the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University is providing educational guides and direct support for our clients affected by COVID-19. Our goal is to provide business resources and whatever information is necessary to help Iowa companies plan, prepare, protect, and recover their operations.

If your business is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, CIRAS can provide no-cost assistance to help you understand your next steps. CIRAS has an emergency response team in place to help guide you through the recovery process. Send an email to and we'll be in touch within 24 hours.

On the following pages, we have provided guides, checklists and a collection of tips and links for navigating your business through the COVID-19 outbreak. Topics include working remotely, the Paycheck Protection Program, and small business relief, among others. Please check back often, as we continually update this information. We also have created an Iowa COVID-19 Preparedness & Return to Work Checklist to provide you with the key information in one summary document.

For a map and other COVID-19 case information go to the COVID-19 in Iowa Dashboard.

Current Updates (January 11, 2021)

Iowa businesses are able to apply for forgivable loans beginning today. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened today for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers.

The U.S. Small Business Administration released new guidance for the program last week. Check with your local lender for specific details.

Elsewhere, CIRAS has added various links and summaries of available information on the COVID-19 vaccination and its distribution within Iowa to the Workforce Considerations section of our COVID-19 Business Resources webpage:

IPDH COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy
IPDH COVID-19 Vaccination Information for the Public
IPDH Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Priority Distribution Framework
Iowa’s Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS)

CDC’s Updated Planning Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine during an Influenza Pandemic
CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations
CDC’s Roadmap to Implementing Pandemic Influenza Vaccination of Critical Workforce
Operation Warp Speed
CDC COVID Data Tracker – Vaccinations

IPDH’s Jan. 8th Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Business, Industry, & Agriculture

We have also summarized the available information on vaccine distribution and considerations for your workforce in two roundtable presentations which can be found in our COVID-19 Webinar Library.  Some of the latest additions to this library are listed below:

Join CIRAS at our weekly Manufacturers Roundtable every Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. for the latest updates and discussions of various COVID-19 topics, including the vaccination effort.  Upcoming scheduled topics include:

  • Management Best Practices during a Pandemic with Rob Taylor on January 12
  • Updates of the latest CARES Act developments on January 19
  • Digital Marketing success stories on January 26

Current supply chain issue updates include:

  • The distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine continues within the United States.  Per the latest numbers from the CDC on January 8, 22.1 million vaccine doses have been distributed.  However, the actual vaccination effort is lagging, with only 30 percent of that vaccine, or 6.7 million doses, having been distributed to-date. Shipments of the second dose of the vaccines have recently commenced.
  • Within Iowa, the state Department of Public Health indicates that Iowa is receiving between 14,000 to 15,000 vaccine doses per week and this number is expected to double next month.  The vast majority of the doses received have been administered to the targeted populations in Phase 1a of healthcare providers and long-term care residents.  Information on the timing of later phases has not yet been finalized.
  • The increased demand for electronic items (partially driven by consumers isolating at home due to COVID-19) has created supply gaps in semiconductor ships. The auto industry is starting to slow down production or have temporary short-term shutdown of select production lines to match production to available supply.
  • Container imports into the U.S. were strong at the end of 2020 and are expected to remain so during the first part of 2021. The industry is anticipating fewer reductions in capacity over the Chinese New Year period out of Asia compared to previous years.
  • As a reminder Chinese New Year starts on February 12, 2021, and ends on February 22, 2021, with many manufacturers and businesses in China and other Asian countries closed during this period.

Previous Updates (December 12, 2020)

Up to 172,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine could begin arriving in Iowa this weekend after what appears to be an imminent approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Reports say the FDA is expected to approve the drug either late Friday or early Saturday, kicking off vaccine distribution around the country.

At-risk populations in Iowa could start receiving the vaccine as early as the end of this month, potentially beginning with nursing home residents and health care workers shortly before Christmas.

Meanwhile, CIRAS is continuing to add information to our COVID-19 Webinar Library. The latest additions include recordings of our weekly COVID-19 Manufacturers roundtables and podcasts:

Current supply chain issue updates include:

  • Ocean capacity remains limited versus demand coming out of Asia to North America, especially to West Coast ports. Ocean and intermodal volumes are expected to remain high, with capacity issues until at least Chinese New Year.
  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 cases at the port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, along with a few selected East Coast ports, have reduced their capacity. This, combined with the higher seasonal container volumes has led to congestion in the ports and inland hubs with potential transit delays for containerized freight across the U.S.
  • Additional state COVID restrictions across the country (e.g. California stay-at-home order, Chicago travel restriction, New York travel ban, Minnesota 14-day quarantine for travelers through December 18, etc.) may impact business.

Archived Updates

CIRAS Contacts:

Marc Schneider, 563-221-1596,
Mike O’Donnell, 515-509-4379,