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Daily Updates

April 8, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for March 28 - April 3, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 6,770, an increase of 2,168 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Industry Not Available/Self-employed, Manufacturing, and Construction. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 4,602 (a decrease of 244) and continuing claims to 39,657 (a decrease of 529). 
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 166.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

March 25, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for March 14 - March 20, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 5,498, a decrease of 252 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Industry Not Available/Self-employed, Manufacturing, and Construction. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,750 (a decrease of 223) and continuing claims to 40,145 (a decrease of 554 for a total decrease of 777 overall).
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is pending.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

March 18, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for March 7 - March 13, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 5,973, an increase of 791 from last week’s adjusted numbers.  Top industries with claims during the time period are:  Manufacturing, Industry Not Available/Self-employed, and Construction. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,182 (a decrease of 349) and continuing claims to 44,013 (a decrease of 814 for a total decrease of 1,163 overall). 
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 160.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

March 11, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for February 28 - March 6, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 5,531, an increase of 1,315 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are:  Manufacturing, Industry Not Available/Self-employed, and Construction. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 4,216 (a decrease of 236) and continuing claims to 48,389 (a decrease of 751 for a total decrease of 987 overall). 
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 144.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

March 4, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for February 21 - February 27, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 4,452, a decrease of 740 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are:  Manufacturing, Industry Not Available/Self-employed, and Construction. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,192 (a decrease of 265) and continuing claims to 48,758 (a decrease of 839 for a total decrease of 1,104 overall).
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 145.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

March 1, 2021

Iowa Department of Public Health Launches Vaccination Website

  • On February 26th, the IDPH announced the launch of Vaccinate.Iowa.gov, a new website that provides information about vaccine priority populations and eligibility, resources available for Iowans age 65 and older, and answers to frequently asked questions about vaccine. The site also hosts a locator tool where users can enter their zip code to find vaccine providers near them. Once a provider is selected, appointment scheduling will be done through the provider’s website or scheduling platform. Information on the site will be updated regularly and site content can be translated into multiple languages.
  • To help older Iowans navigate the scheduling process, IDPH is partnering with 211 to provide a dedicated team of vaccine navigators who will schedule appointments for Iowans age 65 and older who are unable to do so because of technology barriers. This 211 vaccine navigator service will be available starting the week of March 8.
     

February 25, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for February 14 - February 20, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 5,457, a decrease of 531 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Manufacturing, and Industry Not Available/Self-employed. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,988 (a decrease of 332) and continuing claims to 46,963 (a decrease of 651 for a total decrease of 983 overall).
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is pending.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

February 23, 2021

Update to Paycheck Protection Program Increases Access to Funds for Underserved Small Businesses

  • On Monday, February 22, President Biden announced the following changes to SBA's coronavirus relief programs to ensure equity:

    Specifically, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 am ET, SBA will establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. This will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.

    SBA also announced four additional changes to open the PPP to more underserved small businesses than ever before. While these changes are being implemented, SBA will work with community partners to improve the emergency relief “digital front door” and conduct extensive stakeholder outreach. And, SBA will strengthen its relationships with lender partners to advance equity goals, deliver funding efficiently, and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. SBA will:

  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants;
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal; 
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.
  • To learn more about applying for PPP, visit the Small Business Administration website or contact the Covid-19 Business Helpline at 563-588-3350 Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4 or by email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu.

February 19, 2021

County Establishes Vaccine Phone Line for Residents 65 and Over Without Primary Healthcare Provider

  • Dubuque County residents 65 years and older who do not have a doctor or primary care provider can now call the Dubuque County COVID-19 Sleeves Up phone line at 563-587-4950 for assistance on how to receive a vaccine.  Callers will be asked to leave their information on a recording and will be contacted directly when a vaccination appointment is available.

  • Please note this phone number and service is for Dubuque County residents age 65 and over who do not have a primary doctor or healthcare provider.  Local healthcare providers are continuing to contact their patients age 65 and over to schedule vaccination appointments as vaccine allocations allow.


February 18, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for February 7 - February 13, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 6,320, an increase of 200 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Industry Not Available/Self-employed, and Manufacturing. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 6,120 (a decrease of 53) and continuing claims to 48,028 (a decrease of 673 for a total decrease of 726 overall).  
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 184.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

February 12, 2021

Dubuque County Essential Employer Vaccination Response Form

  • On behalf of the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management team, Greater Dubuque Development sent out a request to Dubuque County employers. Working with the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dyersville Chamber of Commerce, we emailed employers asking for them to complete a response form. The compiled data will help the Incident Management Team quickly identify businesses with “essential employees” as defined by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) in the current priority phase 1b,  who are prioritized for vaccination. 
  • If your Dubuque County business has not already done so, please complete the Employer Response Form via Google Form*. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the COVID-19 Business Helpline, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:00, at (563) 588-3350 or email sbhelpline@nicc.edu.
  • For more information as well as alternatives to the Google Form, visit the Dubuque County Health Department COVID-19 website at dubuquecountyiowa.gov/579/Information-for-Employers-with-Essential

 


February 11, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for January 31 - February 6, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 6,173, an increase of 395 from last week’s adjusted numbers.  Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Industry Not Available/Self-employed, and Manufacturing. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,778 (a decrease of 160) and continuing claims to 45,803 (a decrease of 905 for a total decrease of 1,065 overall).  
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 191.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

February 7, 2021

Governor Reynolds Issues New Public Health Proclamation

  • Governor Reynolds issued a new emergency proclamation on February 5th that lifts the state's mask requirement effective Sunday, February 7th along with the social distance and masking limitations she had in place for businesses and social gatherings.  

  • PLEASE NOTE: Dubuque County's mask requirement and the City of Dubuque's face covering ordinance both remain in effect.

  • To read the governor's announcement and the full proclamation, visit https://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/gov-reynolds-signs-new-public-health-disaster-proclamation
     


February 4, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for January 24 - January 30, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was5,938, an increase of 687 from last week’s adjusted numbers.  Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Industry Not Available/Self-employed, and Manufacturing. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,251 (a decrease of 259) and continuing claims to 46,303 (a decrease of 851 for a total decrease of 1,110 overall).  
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 201.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

February 1, 2021

Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Grant Program opens at Noon Today

  • Visit the Iowa Economic Development Authority site to learn more and apply. 
  • Governor Reynolds allocated $40 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide financial relief for eligible restaurants and bars impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program will assist many Iowa establishments that were among the most directly and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures and mitigation efforts.
  • Grant award amounts will be determined using a tiered system based on the percent of gross sales loss. Award tiers will be used with a maximum award amount of $25,000
  • The application process will open at Noon on February 1st and close on February 15th at 5:00 p.m. 
  • The COVID-19 Business Helpline is available to assist and answer questions about this and other programs. Call the COVID-19 Business Helpline at 563-588-3350 between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, or email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu

Small Business Administration Releases FAQ For Upcoming Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program

  • The update, provided on January 27th, is intended to provide answers to frequently asked questions about the program. These will be updated as new information comes available and additional program details are finalized.
  • The application process is not yet open and the start date is to be determined but potential applicants are encouraged to visit www.sba.gov/coronavirusrelief for updates.

W-2s May Need Correction Due to Families First Coronavirus Response Act

  • The Internal Revenue Service has issued specific guidance on how employers should report wages paid for emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid Family and Medical Leave Act time off under the FFCRA. Pay for either wages should be reported separately from regular wages, on Box 14 of the W-2, or on a separate statement provided alongside the regular W-2, according to the guidance.
  • For a further breakdown of the guidance, visit the SHRM website

January 28, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for January 17 - January 23, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 5,510, a decrease of 870 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Manufacturing, and Industry Not Available/Self-employed. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 6,380 (a decrease of 405) and continuing claims to 46,014 (a decrease of 680 for a total decrease of 1,085 overall).  
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 179.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

January 26, 2021

Iowa Economic Development Authority Provides Info on Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Grant Program

  • Governor Reynolds allocated $40 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide financial relief for eligible restaurants and bars impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Program will assist many Iowa establishments that were among the most directly and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures and mitigation efforts.
  • Grant award amounts will be determined using a tiered system based on the percent of gross sales loss. Award tiers will be used with a maximum award amount of $25,000
  • The application process will open at Noon on February 1st and close on February 15th at 5:00 p.m. 
  • The COVID-19 Business Helpline is available to assist and answer questions about this and other programs. Call the COVID-19 Business Helpline at 563-588-3350 between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, or email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu

January 22, 2021

Recording of Safe at Work Webinar Now Available 

  • On Thursday, January 21st, the latest Safe at Work webinar was presented by partners at Northeast Iowa Community College, CIRAS, and the Small Business Development Center. A recording can be viewed or the presentation downloaded from our Safe at Work page.

January 21, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for January 10 - January 16, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 6,785, a decrease of 581 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Manufacturing, and Industry Not Available/Self-employed. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 7,366 (a decrease of 272) and continuing claims to 48,553 (a decrease of 898 for a total decrease of 1,170 overall).  
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 236.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

January 19, 2021

Centers for Disease Control Releases Updated Guidance on Vaccination

As vaccine supply increases, Dubuque and its employers should consider how to create the most efficient system possible for informing and vaccinating our workforce.  The Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention has begun to develop and share materials and best practices that communities and employers might use in this important effort .  

You may also want to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) put out by the CDC.


January 14, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for January 3 - January 9, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 7,638, a decrease of 217 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Manufacturing, and Industry Not Available/Self-employed. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 7,855 (a decrease of 381) and continuing claims to 43,165 (a decrease of 736 for a total decrease of 1,117 overall).  
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 240.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

January 12, 2021

Next Safe at Work Webinar to be Held January 21st

  • Thursday, January 21st from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Register here. 
  • Mary McGraw and Marc Schneider, CIRAS Industry Disaster Management Team members, will discuss current information about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and issues that may affect Iowa employers and manufacturers.
    • National and statewide vaccine information
    • Anticipated vaccine availability for your workforce
    • How to support your workforce’s access to the vaccine and the process
    • Human resources policies and procedures that should be reviewed and implemented in preparation for the vaccine
    • Whether you can require your workforce to be vaccinated, and what happens if someone refuses
    • Recommended vaccination policies for visitors and contractors to your site
  • Other Topics of Discussion
    • Updates on Local, State and Federal Assistance Programs: Jay Wickham, SBDC
    • CARES Act Updates (if available)
    • Northeast Iowa Community College Updates: Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D.    
  • The COVID-19 Business Helpline is available to assist and answer questions about any of the programs below. Call the COVID-19 Business Helpline at 563-588-3350 between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, or email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu.    

Changes to the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA)

  • The FFCRA provided a refundable payroll tax credit for mandated paid sick and family leave. The new bill does not extend the FFCRA's mandate to provide paid sick leave and/or emergency family leave. However, employers may voluntarily provide paid sick leave or emergency family leave under the FFCRA and take the tax credit associated with the leave. To be eligible for the tax credit beyond December 31, 2020, employers must provide leave to employees in compliance with the provisions of the FFCRA. The FFCRA includes specific requirements for permissible reasons for leave and requires supporting documentation in order to qualify for the employer tax credit. The tax credit, even in this limited and extended circumstance, expires on March 31, 2021.
  • The Department of Labor has developed a Frequently Asked Questions site that we recommend interested employers review.

January 11, 2021

Financial Relief Programs Reopened

The Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) is back.

  • The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan, often forgivable, designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. When created in the spring of 2020 it was highly successful but the funding soon ran out.  Recent legislation has both re-opened that program AND added a second one.  What Dubuque businesses should be interested? 
    • Anyone who missed the program last year. The new law reopens the original PPP and earmarks $35 Billion for businesses who didn’t already apply and receive a loan. You’ll need to apply by March 31, 2021.
    • Anyone who previously applied but returned all or part of their award (for whatever reason).
    • Anyone who previously applied but did not request the maximum available (you can now).
    • Anyone who applied and received assistance last year but could use some more help.  $284 billion has been appropriated for a new PPP loan program (“PPP2”), giving eligible borrowers an opportunity to receive a second round of funding, subject to a $2 million maximum.
  • The new program is focused on anyone with 300 or fewer employees and who suffered at least a 25% revenue reduction in Q1, Q2 or Q3 2020 as compared to the same quarter in 2019. The legislation also makes some important tax treatment changes.  
  • The application process is being developed and businesses should work with their local financial institution for updated information and timelines for applying. 


The EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program) has also been funded and re-opened, so if you didn't or couldn't access it last year, you'll have a second shot!  Congress has allocated another $20,000,000,000 in emergency EIDL grants in the new stimulus bill.
What businesses should be interested?

With questions about either program, you can contact the COVID-19 Business Helpline at 563-588-3350 Monday through Friday from 8:30 - 4 pm or by email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu.


January 7, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Releases Unemployment Claim Data for December 27, 2020 - January 2, 2021

  • The number of initial claims for this time period was 8,236, an increase of 1,095 from last week’s adjusted numbers. Top industries with claims during the time period are: Construction, Manufacturing, and Industry Not Available/Self-employed. Read the full statement.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 7,141 (a decrease of 320) and continuing claims to 38,023 (a decrease of 698 for a total decrease of 1,018 overall).
  • Initial claims data for Dubuque County is 282.
  • Employers or claimants with questions can email Iowa Workforce Development at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov or call them at 1-866-239-0843.

January 4, 2021

Dubuque Initiatives Relaunches Loan Program for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Dubuque Initiatives is partnering with the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) and the COVID-19 Business Helpline to relaunch the Dubuque Initiatives Loan Program.The program will authorize the use of $500,000 of Dubuque Initiatives’ funds to provide loans to small businesses existing in the City of Dubuque. Completed applications will be processed within 48 hours, providing our local employers critical funding to weather the storm.

Loans of $10,000 repaid over a three-year period at 1% interest. No interest or fees would be charged to the applicant for the first 6 months after disbursement.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Employ 1-50 employees (Sole proprietors are eligible)
  • Have a physical location or storefront within the City of Dubuque
  • Businesses that previously received a loan through this program and non-profits are eligible to apply.

The program will open for application on Monday, January 4, at 8:30 a.m. To apply:

  • Call the COVID-19 Business Helpline at (563) 588-3350 between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu.
  • Helpline experts will review available local, state and federal assistance programs, including the Dubuque Initiatives Loan Program, and what information applicants will need to have prepared.
  • Once application is complete, processing and disbursement of funds is expected to take place within 48 hours.

The COVID-19 Business Helpline is made possible through a joint partnership established between Northeast Iowa Community College, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the Small Business Development Center, and the East Central Iowa Intergovernmental Association. Any business owner can contact the Helpline to ask questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic regarding federal, state and local funding, unemployment insurance, and compliance with new legislation and best practices.


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