RED OAK, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, is echoing the calls for additional federal support for small businesses in Iowa and across the country. The Paycheck Protection Program, which was created and funded through the Phase 3 relief package Congress passed recently, is currently providing loan support to small businesses across the country. Ernst is urging the Senate to secure additional funding to ensure this emergency relief program can continue providing support for small businesses.
“Iowa’s small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and as we face this health and economic crisis, we absolutely must do all we can to ensure they are getting the support they so desperately need,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “I’ve been on the phone with hundreds of local employers and business owners from across the state hearing about their needs and concerns during these challenging times. We have a new loan program in place and resources are available, but we need to move swiftly to ensure the money keeps flowing and our businesses can stay afloat amidst this pandemic.”
Senator Ernst continues to be in constant communication with Iowans from every corner and county of the state to ensure folks are receiving the support they need, including the state’s families, small business owners, health care workers, and more. Last week she spoke with Iowans – including business owners – in the Quad Cities, Siouxland, and Dubuque areas, and this week she continues to speak with small business owners, including Iowans in Cedar Rapids.
As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Ernst fought hard to ensure small businesses were a priority in the Phase 3 relief package. Highlighted below are a number of the emergency relief measures Ernst successfully included in the bipartisan Phase 3 package that help support Iowa’s small businesses:
- Protecting for workers and small businesses by allowing local banks and credit unions to provide federally-backed loans for small businesses to keep their employees on payroll and to pay bills; loans can be forgiven if they maintain payroll.
- Expanding loan access to child care providers, non-profits, and businesses with less than 500 employees.
Background on Ernst’s efforts to combat COVID-19:
Senator Ernst has fought to deliver relief to all Iowans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of her efforts:
- Delivered major wins for Iowa’s workers, employers, health care industry, and more in the bipartisan Phase 3 package.
- Supported the “Phase 1” bipartisan package to provide additional resources to federal, state and local authorities.
- Helped pass the “Phase 2” bill to provide paid sick leave, free COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and increased support for nutrition for seniors and children.
- Called for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Urged the Senate to prioritize relief for hospitals, community health centers, and workers on the front lines.
- Announced a proposal to immediately redirect the over $350M in the Presidential Campaign Election Fund to be used to purchase specialized face masks and personal protective equipment.
- Asked the State Department to immediately act to get Iowans stranded abroad back home.
- Sought tariff relief for Iowa’s businesses by calling on Treasury to defer all tariffs during the pandemic.
- Took questions from Iowans in Dubuque and Siouxland areas on COVID-19 relief.
- Answered questions from Iowans in Quad Cities area on COVID-19 relief.
- Called on two federal health agencies to protect Iowa’s Medicare beneficiaries from high-risk settings and ensure safe access to care as we continue to work to combat COVID-19.
- Held a telephone town hall with thousands of Iowans to help answer some questions and hear directly from folks.
- Hosted another telephone town hall with Iowa’s seniors and elderly community.
- Participated in discussions at the State Emergency Operations Center with Governor Kim Reynolds.
- Joined Governor Reynolds at her press conference to give an update on federal relief efforts.
- Discussed the need to work together – at federal, state, and local level – to tackle COVID-19.
- Published a column on everyone doing their part to protect seniors and fellow Iowans from COVID-19.
- Penned a second column outlining the federal relief packages Congress passed and reminding Iowans we will get through this, together.