Sen. Ernst Discusses Need to Expand Access to Capital, Child Care for Minority Communities

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U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) spoke yesterday at a Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing to examine minority-owned small business owners’ access to capital during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify ways to improve economic recovery for underserved communities.

“We know that our minority-owned small businesses play a critical role in the success of all of our communities,” said Senator Ernst. “I’m glad we are having this conversation about how we can give these essential businesses the tools they need to survive this crisis and lead then on the frontlines of our economic recovery.”

Ernst heard from the panelists about the importance of ensuring minority-owned businesses have access to capital and strong, community-based relationships with local lenders during their economic recovery from COVID-19. The senator discussed her visit with local leaders in the African-American community in Des Moines as part of her 99 County Tour where she had the opportunity to hear about the challenges facing African-American business owners.

Ernst also discussed the importance of keeping child care providers afloat for minority communities and her new bill – the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020 – that would provide nine months of financial assistance for child care programs to ensure that they can safely reopen and make it through the pandemic.