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COVID-19 Recovery Assistance

On Monday, May 4, Des Moines City Council approved a plan to distribute $3.3 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds by designating $350,000 for Emergency Food Distribution, $684,970 for rental/mortgage assistance, and $750,000 for the Small Business Relief Fund$1.1 million in federal relief will be dedicated to serving the unhoused population in Des Moines to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The City is mobilizing rapidly, and this webpage will be updated frequently over the coming weeks as details are confirmed.

Language interpreters are available by calling the Iowa COVID-19 English Language Learner (ELL) Help Line at 1-877-558-2609.

DSM Small Business Recovery Grant

What is the DSM Small Business Grant?

The Greater Des Moines community strongly values its small businesses and the diversity in its ownership and services. The City of Des Moines is teaming up with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Polk County and additional community partners to create a grant program to help keep small businesses in business.

Who is eligible?

Sole-proprietors or businesses in Des Moines with 0 – 30 employees that have had restrictions placed on their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of businesses include, but are not limited to, retail stores, personal care services and restaurants. 

  • Must have a physical location within the City of Des Moines, unincorporated Polk County or areas of Warren County.
  • Must have been in operation for at least one year as of July 1, 2019. 
  • Must be a for-profit business of any legal structure (non-profit organizations are not eligible).

Grant awards will range from $1,000 – $10,000. Preference will be given to businesses that have not received assistance from the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant, the Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund, the Paycheck Protection Program or other grants.

Additional requirements will be listed in the application. Applications open May 5 and will remain open until Midnight on May 31. The Greater Des Moines Partnership will begin to notify recipients on May 28, 2020.

What paperwork do I need?

Please gather these documents before applying.

  1. 4-month income and expenses statements (Jan-April 2020)
  2. 4 month income and expenses statement (Jan -April 2019)
  3. 3-month projected income and expenses (May 1-July 30, 2020)
  4. Balance Sheet (as of April 30, 2020)
  5. Using this template, please list job titles, hourly wage or salary by title, expected hours per pay period, and length of pay period (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc.) reduced due to the public health crisis that are to be funded with Small Business Recovery Fund. Do not send employee social security information.
Download this worksheet to help you prepare for your application.
How do I apply?

Online applications opened on May 5 and will remain open until Midnight on May 31. The City of Des Moines has partnered with the Greater Des Moines Partnership to manage the application process.

To apply, visit The Partnership's website at

Emergency Food Distribution

What is Emergency Food Distribution?

With $350,000 of the federal relief funds received, the City of Des Moines has partnered with the Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS), the Food Bank of Iowa, and Urban Dreams to provide free hot meals to Des Moines families and residents in need.

The first distribution event will take place on Thursday, May 21 between 4-6 p.m. at Evelyn K. Davis Park. Learn more

Rental/Mortgage Assistance

What Rental/Mortgage Assistance is available?
City Council recently designated $684,970 of federal relief funds to help Des Moines residents prepare for an eventual end to the current moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent and mortgages. Additional details will be available later this week.

Unhoused Assistance

What assistance is the City providing the unhoused community?

City Council designated $1.1 million of federal Emergency Solutions Grant funds to serving the unhoused population in Des Moines. Funds will be used for providing emergency shelter, homeless prevention and rapid re-housing solutions. Additional details will be available later this week.