U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, released the following statement after President Trump signed into law the additional COVID-19 relief package that passed the Senate unanimously. This package includes more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a fix to allow Iowa’s agriculture community to benefit from the EIDL program, support for health care providers, and additional funding for testing.
“Finally, more relief is on its way to Iowa’s businesses and families. I wish politics hadn’t prevented us from getting this done two weeks ago, but I’m glad Congress came together once again to pass an additional COVID-19 relief package, and that the president acted swiftly to sign it into law,” said Senator Ernst. “I’m especially pleased to see that Iowa’s agriculture community will now be able to access Economic Injury Disaster Loans – something I pushed for.
“As we battle the invisible enemy of COVID-19, I will continue fighting hard for Iowans every step of the way, listening to their concerns and working to get them the relief and support they need. We will get through this crisis, together.”
Senator Ernst has been working tirelessly to ensure Iowans are getting the support they need during COVID-19. After hearing from local business owners, Ernst echoed their calls to bolster relief for small businesses through the PPP. After Democrats blocked additional and critically-needed funding for the program, Ernst called on her colleagues to put politics aside and work to get this support for small businesses approved.
The PPP has been a success in Iowa, and across the country. Yesterday, Ernst spoke with substance abuse and mental health providers who credited the PPP with helping them remain open and continuing to provide critical services to those in need. In total, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), nearly 30,000 Iowa small businesses have received loans as part of the PPP.
In addition, Ernst called on the SBA to ensure Iowa’s farmers are able to access the EIDL program, and as a result of this relief package, farmers will have access to these loans. In the bipartisan package the president signed today, there is also increased funding for the EIDL program – which will help businesses, and now farmers, across Iowa.
Ernst has also continued to advocate for Iowa’s health care community on the front lines of COVID-19. She successfully helped include critical funding for the health care community in the bipartisan Phase 3 package. Ernst has urged the federal government to immediately assist rural hospitals and clinics by prioritizing funding for these critical health care providers. And, after hearing from county hospitals in Iowa, she called on the Senate to provide public hospitals with additional through the PPP.