Merchants Contributes to Small Business Recovery Grant Program

May 5, 2020

Merchants Bonding Company is a contributor to the Small Business Recovery Grant program that has been launched to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is led by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Polk County, City of Des Moines, City of Urbandale, Warren County, City of Johnston, City of Indianola, City of Norwalk, City of West Des Moines, City of Clive, City of Carlisle and the City of Windsor Heights.

The grant program will be available for sole-proprietors or businesses with 0–30 employees that have had restrictions placed on their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant awards will range from $1,000–$5,000 dependent on justification of need, with grants available for up to $10,000 for businesses in the City of Des Moines due to Community Development Block Grant funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Preference will be given to businesses that have not yet received money from federal or state recovery programs as this regional program is intended to complement, not duplicate, other existing programs.

“DSM USA is recognized nationally as a best-in-class region because we work together as one region to invest in a strong business climate and quality of life initiatives to help attract and retain talent,” said Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “This grant program is another example of regional leaders coming together to help strengthen our community and help businesses in need on the road to recovery.”

The grant program is funded through contributions from the City of Des Moines, Polk County, Principal Foundation, the City of Urbandale, Warren County, City of Johnston, Delta Dental, Meredith Corporation, Nationwide, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, Wells Fargo & Co., City of Indianola, City of Norwalk, City of West Des Moines, City of Clive, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Fidelity & Guaranty Life, IMT Insurance, City of Carlisle, City of Windsor Heights, Bankers Trust, Kemin Industries, Inc., NCMIC Group, Veridian Credit Union, Global Atlantic Financial Company, GuideOne Insurance, Merchants Bonding Company and Ruan Transportation Management Systems.

“In times of need, we raise our hand and ask how we can help,” said Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. “We know that small businesses are vital to the economic health of a city, and we hope this will provide a boost to those that have been effected by this pandemic.”

“This is about helping ensure we are not only weathering the storm, but that we are also putting ourselves in the best possible position for recovery as a community,” said Dan Houston, Chairman, President and CEO of Principal. “This is about doing all we can to keep businesses open, to keep people employed, and to keep our community strong.”

The fund is primarily limited to businesses in Polk County and Warren County, though businesses in contributing cities that cross county lines will be considered.

“This is a time that we can come together to invest in the future,” said Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell. “We want to do whatever we can to help people get back on their feet because that will make our community stronger and each of our local municipalities stronger.”

Applications can be accessed at, and will remain open until Midnight on May 20. Funding will be distributed based on merit and need, not first-come, first-served. Applications will be reviewed by the Iowa Center for Economic Success. Those interested in contributing to the fund can email or visit Des Moines  Partnership's Website.