COVID-19 Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund

COVID-19 Relief Programs

Financial Assistance for Targeted Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

A fund has been created to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants from $1,000-$10,000 to businesses that are single owners with no employees that are also TSB certified.

All funds available through the Targeted Small Business Sole Operator program have been expended as of May 4, 2020.  

The program assisted 364 targeted small businesses through a total of $600,000 in awards. All businesses that have received a grant award through the program have been notified. All award decisions are final agency action.

Will funds received through a state COVID-19 relief program be taxed as income?
Iowa Small Business Relief Grants have been granted state tax exemption by the Iowa legislature. More information will be forthcoming as guidance becomes available in regard to state taxes for other COVID-19 relief programs. Please reference the Internal Revenue Service Guidance for information on federal taxes as they relate to COVID-19 relief funds.

Beware of IRS Scams

Unfortunately, criminals are taking the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to exploit the public. It is critical now more than ever to remain vigilant for scams that are attempting to steal your personal information or money. The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your personal information. Do not give out your social security number, bank account, debit account or PayPal account information.  

If you receive a call from an individual claiming to be employees of the IRS, hang up. The IRS will not call you. Do not engage with scammers. If you receive calls, texts or emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, delete them. Do not click on any links in those emails. 

You may report scams to the Attorney General of Iowa Consumer Protection Division by email at or by calling 515.281.5926 or toll-free at 888.777.4590.

Businesses must:

  • Be experiencing business disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Be a Targeted Small Business or have an application in process by April 10, 2020 to become certified as a Targeted Small business in accordance with Chapter 52 of Iowa Code.; and
  • Be a single owner business with no employees, or a corporation with only one owner and no employees; and
  • Verify that Targeted Small Business income is the primary source of income for the business owner; and
  • The business was established twelve months prior to April 10, 2020.

To be eligible for TSB Certification, businesses must be:

  • Located in the state of Iowa; and
  • Operating for a profit; and
  • Make less than $4 million in gross income, computed as an average of the preceding three fiscal years; and
  • Majority owned (51% or more), operated and managed by a female, individual with minority status, service disabled veteran or individual with a disability

The funds may not be used to pay debts incurred prior to March 17, 2020.

Funds have been expended as of May 4, 2020.

For more information, contact: