New state COVID-19 relief grant aims at helping struggling Iowa bars and restaurants

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 11:53 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Grant Program is the newest lifeline the state has set up with federal dollars to help struggling businesses.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the state had allocated $40 million to the program.

Eligible bars and restaurants must have experienced a decrease in gross sales of at least 15 percent during the second and third quarters of 2020, compared to the same time in 2019. Depending on that percentage of loss, businesses could receive between $1,000 and $25,000 in grants.

According to Rick Dickinson, of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, it’s much needed.

“Dubuque being a beautiful place, where tourism is part of our regional economy, has been more hard hit in this sector of hospitality than other communities,” Dickinson said. “So it is imperative that we have programs to try to help these small businesses weather the storm and, as we get out of the pandemic, begin anew.

The application period begins Monday, February 1, at Noon and closes Monday, February 15, at 5:00 p.m. The application will be posted on

Dickinson said Dubuque bar and restaurant owners can call the Small Business Helpline to ask for help filling the application.

You can reach the helpline by calling (563) 588-3350 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by emailing

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