U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaking with guests at the ITR/NFIB Tax Day lunch on Friday, February 28, 2020.

RED OAK, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, echoed the calls for additional federal support for small businesses in Iowa and across the country. The Paycheck Protection Program, created and funded through the Phase 3 relief package Congress passed recently, currently provides loan support to small businesses across the country. Ernst urged the Senate to secure additional funding to ensure this emergency relief program will 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,” Ernst said. “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.”

Ernst says she communicates constantly with Iowans from every corner and county of the state to ensure they receive 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 CitiesSiouxland, and Dubuque areas, and this week she continues to speak with small business owners, including Iowans in Cedar Rapids.

“There’s no question these are uncertain and challenging times for Iowa families and our small businesses who make up the backbone of our state’s economy, which is why I’m continuing to listen and answer questions from folks across the state,” she added in a video message released Monday afternoon. “I want to make sure our local businesses and workers understand and utilize the critical resources available to them and that all Iowans know my staff and I are here to help. Yes, these are challenging times, but we will get through this – together.”

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 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.

Iowans needing additional information about COVID-19 can visit Ernst’s website, which includes resources for families and individualssmall businesses, and seniors.

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