Over the last few weeks, Iowans from every corner and county of our state – our families, health care workers, local store owners, farmers, seniors, and so many more – have faced …
Over the last few weeks, Iowans from every corner and county of our state – our families, health care workers, local store owners, farmers, seniors, and so many more – have faced unforeseen challenges and hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having served our nation in uniform in times of crisis – in floods, in hurricanes, and in war – there’s no doubt our country faces one now. But it’s often in these challenging times when the American people band together and rise to the occasion, and this pandemic is no different.
We’re seeing it all across our state. Iowans are stepping up to help Iowans. Folks, this is Iowa: individuals helping one another out in a time of need.
While Gov. Kim Reynolds has continued to be a steady hand for our state through these tough times, at the federal level Sen. Chuck Grassley and I have been working at a rapid pace, and across the aisle, to get immediate aid for our state’s workers and families, our small businesses, our seniors, and all those in our health care community who are on the front lines of battling COVID-19.
Iowans in every part of our state – moms and dads, nurses and doctors, small business employers and employees, seniors and students, veterans and farmers – will get support from these recently approved relief packages.
First and foremost, Iowans will receive direct cash assistance – including our seniors. Those who earn $75,000 or less will get $1,200 each, and married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, plus an additional $500 per child.
Importantly, our seniors are included in these direct cash payments, even if they are receiving Social Security and are retired.
As a member of the Small Business Committee, I’ve made our small business community, which has been so deeply impacted by this crisis, a major focus. We expanded access to small business loans for all companies with fewer than 500 employees – including those who are self-employed, nonprofits, and child care providers.
These loans will be handled locally – something I worked to ensure. By having our local banks and credit unions make and approve these federally backed loans for small businesses, we take the middleman out of the process and will more quickly deliver the aid to Iowa small business owners.
This is an extraordinary situation, and it requires an extraordinary response. It’s all-hands-on-deck. I’ll continue to partner with Gov. Reynolds and folks at the state and local levels to make sure we get our families, small businesses, and health care workers on the front lines through this crisis.
These are tough times, but us Iowans will get through it – together. Stay safe and stay strong.
Joni Ernst represents Iowa in the United States Senate.