• Great Western Bank takes significant loss due to impairment charges
COVID-19 loan programs hit MidWestOne in Q1
• Local doctors to launch Mask of Wellness program today
Elective surgeries to resume Monday at several hospitals
Latest coronavirus updates, 5/01/20
• Corridor events, KCRG-TV9 headlines and First Alert Forecast
Great Western Bank takes massive charge
Great Western Bank’s results turned sharply into loss territory for the company’s second fiscal quarter, as the company recognized impairment charges of $742.2 million in anticipation of market and valuation disruption from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The bank reported a net loss per share of $740.6 million, or $13.25 per diluted share, compared to net income of $43.3 million, or 77 cents per share, in its first fiscal quarter, at the same time, halved its quarterly dividend to 15 cents per share.

The charges included an impairment of $622.4 million from goodwill related to the acquisition of Great Western Bank in 2008 by National Australia Bank, and $118.2 million from goodwill related to subsequent acquisitions.

In addition, the COVID-19 impacts included $73.8 million in several charges for loan and other real estate reserves, including $3.3 million writedown on a hotel owned by the bank that was negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

While the impairments colored the quarter’s results, without them Great Western’s results were only moderately lower than the prior quarter, at $29.1 million, or 52 cents per share.

Mark Borrecco, Great Western’s new president and CEO, said the bank’s stable capital position along with actions to address the COVID-19 impact to goodwill valuation and its increasing of loan loss reserves “appropriately reflect the current environment.”

“Through this time of disruption we have remained open for business supporting our customers while implementing our business continuity plan to mitigate the risks of the spread of COVID-19 to our employees and customers,” Mr. Borrecco said in a news release. He said the bank processed 2,300 applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling over $600 million as of April 24.

IMAGE Mark Borrecco
COVID-19 loan programs hit MidWestOne in Q1
MidwestOne Financial Group reported a first-quarter loss as the company recorded credit losses of $21.7 million in connection with the slowing economic conditions resulting from COVID-19.

The loss of $2 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to a profit of $13.4 million, or 83 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. The credit loss expense shaved 99 cents per share off earnings for the quarter.

Fee income rose 12% to $10.2 million, and noninterest expense dropped 18% to $30 million. MidWestOne originated $332 million in loans for 2,190 to help them continue operating through the shutdown under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

President and CEO Charlie Funk said MidWestOne implemented the current expected credit loss standard as a way of calculating its credit loss expense of $21.7 million, which he said “is related to the worsening forecast for the U.S. and our regional economy due to the significant slowing we’re seeing in the current and forecasted economic activity.”

Mr. Funk said the bank’s activity to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the quarter, with many bankers working 18-hour days in April to get Paycheck Protection Program loan applications processed and approved for customers. In addition to that program, MidWestOne implemented a loan payment deferral program that approved some $346 million in loan payments and administered the CARES Act SBA payment forgiveness program, which provided payment relief of more than $600,000 on more than 120 loans.
Local doctors to launch Mask of Wellness program today
At 1 p.m. today, David C. Krupp, an emergency room doctor in Iowa City, and Robbie Schwenker, a community pharmacist, will converge a team of University of Iowa Pharmacy and Medical students on the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City to deploy 300 free ‘ Mask of Wellness ’ packets to area restaurants. 

The packets will introduce ‘Mask of Wellness,’ a free initiative to provide education and tools for businesses to operate in a safe manner amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Mask of Wellness’ is a safety method and free self-certification program for a COVID-conscious business. The packets contain a letter of introduction as well as flyers, door clings, and information that the establishments can post at their physical locations as well as digitally on websites and social media.
Businesses can sign up and self-certify at , pledging that they will take three actions to maintain the safety of employees and patrons of their establishments: 

  • Masks - Worn by every employee in all areas of the work environment
  • Hygiene - Hand and surface hygiene practiced by all employees in conjunction with physical distancing when possible
  • Health - Employees attesting to no primary COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis
The ‘Mask of Wellness’ self-certification is provided at no cost to promote a COVID-conscious business. From the website, businesses will be able to download additional graphics, content and materials to promote the safety steps their business is taking as a COVID-conscious business, in turn attracting customers and providing comfort and confidence to patrons.
Elective surgeries to resume Monday at several hospitals
Elective surgeries will resume May 4 at UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids, Surgery Center Cedar Rapids, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, Linn County Anesthesiology and Mercy Cedar Rapids. The first phase of the community’s collaborative plan will reactivate select surgical and other invasive procedures, as well as other select outpatient services. 

“We will continue to closely monitor the pandemic and will expand the number of procedures available in the coming weeks if we are able to continue to meet our guiding principles safely,” Dr. Dustin Arnold, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids Chief Medical Officer, said at a press conference Thursday.

Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted a state ban of nonessential surgical procedures April 24 that she enforced March 26 to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves for health care workers.

The proclamation allowed nonelective surgeries to continue April 27 with strict stipulations including health care organizations having enough PPE to both perform the surgeries and treat COVID-19 patients. Hospitals must also reserve at least 30% of intensive care unit beds and 30% of medical/surgical beds for COVID-19 patients.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City resumed procedures right away, citing its PPE acquisition and conservation and testing capabilities.

Mercy Iowa City will also resume elective surgeries May 4, according to Director of Communications Margaret Reese.
Latest coronavirus updates, 5/01/20
Ed. note: The CBJ is working hard to keep you up to date on the latest coronavirus news. We’re publishing a short roundup each day of notable cancellations, closures, changes and more. Send your tips and releases to  to help us stay up to date. See our ongoing thread with collected updates  here .

The Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 7,884 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. As of April 30, there have been 45,593 people tested in the state. There have been 170 deaths. Regularly updated information from the IDPH can be found he re .
The city of Iowa City has announced the downtown library building will remain closed to the public until further notice, with no in-person library programs, public meeting room use, or ICPL Bookmobile service until possibly mid-August. Library staff will resume answering phone calls from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays at (319) 356-5200 and due dates on checked out items have been extended through July 15. For more information on the program as well as classes and events, visit .

The Washington Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel some planned summer events, while tentatively planning or rescheduling others. Cancelled events include the Summer Classic, scheduled for June 4-6, and the Latino Festival, scheduled for June 7. Ridiculous Day, set for June 6, will be held as planned, but there will be no parade and sales will be held virtually. The annual golf tournament may still be held, but will be rescheduled. The chamber board will meet again in mid-May to continue discussions on these proposals as well as Thursday Night Live activities in Central Park. 
Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity (CVHFH) and professional builders, contractors and suppliers from the Greater Cedar Rapids Housing & Building Association (GCRHBA) will postpone the 2020 Home Builders Blitz, originally scheduled for June 1-5, to later in the year. At a future date to be determined, the two organizations will come together for the fifth time to build three homes in just five days and transform the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood on the southeast side of Cedar Rapids. “As we navigate the landscape of COVID-19, we're proud to say that nothing will get in the way of providing affordable housing,” Kelly Lamb, executive director of CVHFH, said in a news release.
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are requesting donations of homemade face masks and shields, as well as the following items:
N95 masks
Isolation/surgeon masks
Face masks with attached eye shield
Full face shields 
Isolation gowns
Latex-free gloves-Please no latex gloves at this time.
Gift cards are also being requested for goods such as food, groceries, gasoline, or merchandise. Please complete a donation form , and bring a copy with your donation. They will accept donated items outside the UI Hospitals & Clinics Main Entrance from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call Concierge Services at 1-319-356-1900 or 1-319-678-5500 to schedule a donation drop-off. For your safety and the safety of their patients, visitors, and staff, they will meet you at your vehicle to accept donated items.
The Iowa Bankers Association, with the help of its member banks and industry partners, has raised $40,000 for the Food Bank of Iowa. The money will provide nearly 160,000 meals to help feed Iowa children, families and seniors.  
Mediacom has announced it will extend a series of previously announced initiatives aimed at helping customers through June 30. Those include offering the Mediacom Connect2Compete low-cost Internet program free for 60 days to new qualifying families; extending the pricing of Mediacom’s Access Internet 60 service to new customers at $19.99 per month for 12 months (currently retails for $29.99 per month); pausing monthly data allowances across all Mediacom Internet service tiers; and providing complimentary access to all Mediacom Xtream Wi-Fi Hotspots.
Connect with the CBJ

The CBJ’s mission of informing and connecting the Corridor’s business community is more important than ever. Our news operations will continue researching and reporting on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through our multiple distribution channels. Here’s how you can connect with us today and moving forward:

  • You can reach our newsroom directly with leads, updates, cancellations, etc. at
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  • Updated coronavirus information will also be published on our website,, and through our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels.
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Thank you for your continued support of the Corridor Business Journal.
Short Term Event Planner
May 1 
COVID-19 Assistance Programs: Q&A with SBDC , by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 1:30-2:30 p.m., online. Scott Swenson, regional director with SBDC Iowa at Kirkwood Community College, will lead a conversation about available assistance programs, SBDC resources and the CARES Act. Free. To register, visit .
Getting Back to Work in the Coronavirus Era , by Nyemaster Goode, 2 p.m., online. Learn how to protect your employees, customers and business relationships in the post-pandemic world. Topics will include developing a master plan for returning to work, the risks of moving too fast, best practices and more. Free. To register, visit .
May 4
Virtual Lunch Connections , by Iowa City Area Business Partnership, noon-1 p.m., online. Join this Zoom lunch meeting to connect with other business people in the Corridor. Free. To register, visit
May 6
1 Million Cups , by 1MC Iowa City, 9-10 a.m., online. Join this virtual meeting for community connections, free coffee and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. To join, visit .

Leading Remotely , by Mount Mercy University, 10 a.m., online. Pick up a few tips and tricks that will help you transition to work-home life. Free. To register, visit .
Headlines from KCRG-TV9
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9  
The Cedar Rapids Police Department responded to reports of shots fired at an apartment complex at 1610 30th St. NW at 4:39 a.m. today. Officers said two adult female victims had gunshot wounds. One of them was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Investigating officers said this was a targeted shooting, and found that the alleged suspect had gone to the Rodeway Inn, located at 4011 16th Ave. SW. There, officers took an adult male suspect into custody at around 7:19 a.m. The incident is still under investigation, with more information to follow. The names of the victims have not been released.

The Iowa State Patrol responded to a crash on I-80 near the Tiffin exit this morning. Troopers say a vehicle became disabled after hitting a deer. This caused a subsequent crash involving two semis and two passenger vehicles. Troopers also said one person was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with a broken bone, while others involved in the crash suffered minor injuries. No names have been released at this time.

These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast
Quiet, comfortable weather takes us into the weekend. Highs get into the 70s for just about everybody today under a partly cloudy sky. There's a small chance of an isolated sprinkle in northern Iowa. We'll still have a bit of a breeze this afternoon. Highs stay in the 70s this weekend with partial sunshine both Saturday and Sunday. It looks like the next weather system to move across the Midwest will stay just far enough south to keep showers out of our area Saturday night into early Sunday.