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 (November 9, 2020)

Iowa counted its 150,000 COVID-19 case over the weekend, roughly eight months after public announcement of the first case and less than a month after the 100,000th case.

The milestone came two days after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, citing the state’s work “to find a balance to protect the lives and livelihood of Iowans,” announced a program to provide emergency aid for Iowa movie theaters. The program will provide up to $10,000 per screen to assist Iowa’s nearly 150 movie theaters (housing approximately 550 screens) with operational expenses.

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:

Under Workforce Considerations we have created a series of “mini-webinars” with the initial installments including:

We also have added Contact Tracing resources to our Protecting Your Business webpages. These include:

Other additions to our COVID-19 Business Resources webpages include:

Current supply chain issue updates include:

  • Ocean container shipping capacity from Asia to the United States and the rest of the world is currently very tight. This is due to a combination of retailers building 4th quarter stocks, holiday season shipping, and continued economic rebounds.  As a result, rates per containers continue to be strong.
  • The surge in shipping has led to port congestions and delays in the U.S, especially on the west coast.  This has cascaded to congestion and delays at inland intermodal hubs, including Chicago.
  • US freight market continues to experience strong rates and demand versus available supply.  See heat-maps on demand for U.S. transportation by mode at
  • Spikes in COVID-19 activity in Europe have driven new lock-downs or restrictions in Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic (joining UK and others).  To date, these have not had large impacts on manufacturing and shipping activity.

Previous Updates (October 9, 2020)

Iowa had the sixth-highest coronavirus transmission rate in the country last week, according to a White House coronavirus task force report that was released Thursday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. According to the Oct. 4 report, “Community transmission has remained high across the state for the past month, with many preventable deaths.”

Recent COVID-19 exposures on the national stage, including infections tied to the White House and professional football teams, have increased the visibility of the impacts that a positive COVID-19 exposure can have.

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:

We also have added the following to our COVID-19 Business Resources webpages:

Other updates related to supply chain issues include:

  • US domestic trucking network capacity remains very tight creating upward price pressure with shippers.
  • Boeing is predicting the global market for aircraft will decline next year and that the entire industry will take several years to recover.  This will have knock-on effects on suppliers and other firms in the aerospace industry and supply chain.
  • Amazon’s rescheduled two-day “Prime Day” is next week (October 13 and 14), and there could be potential delays in express and parcel deliveries overall as the level of e-commerce has increased significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Archived Updates

CIRAS Contacts:

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