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 ciras.info@iastate.edu 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 (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.

Previous Updates (September 17, 2020)

Iowa bars reopened Wednesday in Polk, Dallas, Linn, and Black Hawk counties after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds cited “changing public health conditions” that she said made it prudent to rescind much of a closure order issued on August 27. For now, that order still applies to Johnson and Story counties.

In other news, CIRAS has added the following recordings of our weekly COVID-19 Manufacturers roundtables to the COVID-19 Webinar Library:

As a reminder, you can find food industry specific information on our COVID-19:  Food Industry page, including the archive of the previous food industry roundtables.  We also have added:

Other updates related to supply chain issues include:

  • Demand for ocean freight from China to the USA is outstripping supply resulting in a significant increase in container rates.  This demand is related to shipments being pulled forward due to the upcoming Chinese Golden Week (Oct 1–7), a switch to higher inventory levels (for both defensive and e-commerce reasons), and a recovering economy.
  • From a building materials and infrastructure material perspective, distributors are reporting that the supply of lumber is recovering from the surge in demand over the summer; however, electrical components and power transmission equipment is in short supply due to a series of natural disasters across the U.S. (Midwest derecho; hurricanes in the South and South-East).
  • There are reported delays from suppliers in the current COVID-19 international hotspots including Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India.  In other areas (e.g. Asia), suppliers seem to have recovered but are still working through order backlogs.
  • The U.S. freight network continues to experience spot congestion and delays due to demand recovering faster than carriers are returning capacity to the network.

Archived Updates

CIRAS Contacts:

Marc Schneider, 563-221-1596, maschn@iastate.edu
Mike O’Donnell, 515-509-4379, modonnll@iastate.edu