Sen. Joni Ernst called for Congress to act ASAP when it comes to replenishing the PPP on Thursday. Ernst hosted a teleconference with the media.
“These are certainly challenging times for so many across Iowa and across our nation,” she said. “Our families, our healthcare workers, local store owners, farmers, seniors and so many more are all facing hardships right now. And that’s why in the last two weeks I’ve been continuing to speak directly with hundreds of Iowans from every corner of the state.”
Ernst has hosted telephone townhalls with farmers, small business owners, hospital groups and conducted video conferences with local chambers.
“Iowa small businesses are facing serious and unforeseen challenges,” Ernst said. “As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, supporting our hard-working local small businesses remains a top priority.”
Assistance from the federal government is beginning to flow, Ernst said, but it isn’t enough. Ernst said the idea is for small businesses to get loans immediately so they can cover their expenses, including payroll. If the small businesses keep their employees on the payroll or rehire the workers they let go, the loans are forgiven.
“In Iowa, we are seeing the success of the program in real-time,” Ernst said.
More than 22,000 loans were given to Iowa small businesses, which total $3.5 billion.
“That is very good news,” Ernst said. “Small businesses across the country have taken advantage of this critical program and as a result, just a few hours ago, the funding of the PPP completely ran out.”
That’s a situation Ernst said that didn’t need to happen.
“It could’ve been avoided,” she said. “Just last week my colleagues and I pushed for a simple measure that would’ve bolstered the program. No political gimmicks, just a simple ask to put more money in this program. Unfortunately, politics got in the way and our friends on the other side of the aisle blocked it. We need to replenish this fund and do it fast. This isn’t the time for politics, we need to get the PPP replenished, ASAP.”
Ernst said the hope is for at least another $250 billion.