DES MOINES — As unemployment levels hit record highs and Iowans across the state continue to suffer the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are continuing to step up and fight for small businesses, job security, and livable unemployment benefits for all Iowans. Last week, Iowa Democrats hosted multiple roundtables on economic relief and fought in Congress for relief for small businesses hit hardest by the virus.

Here’s a look about what Iowa’s Congressional Democrats are doing to support job creation and security:

Congresswoman Cindy Axne held a small business roundtable and co-sponsored legislation to give smaller Iowa businesses a second opportunity to utilize the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill would provide additional economic relief for small businesses suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

KMALand: Axne seeks second Paycheck Protection Program bill

“These are the businesses that are the smallest of the small,” said Axne, “that have the industries that have the hardest time getting reopened. That’s why I’ve signed onto the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, which helps us with businesses of 100 or fewer employees who have exhausted — or are about to exhaust — their first PPP loan, give them that second loan to help them keep up with those operational expenses, payroll expenses — those type of things,’” said Congresswoman Axne.

The Daily Nonpareil: Small businesses discuss pandemic troubles during roundtable with Axne

“On Wednesday, Congresswoman Axne heard from small businesses in the service industry, including salons, photographers, auto repair and more on how the pandemic has impacted their businesses and livelihoods. … ‘As a new business entity, it was nice to have a voice and be heard,” said one business owner.’”

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer hosted a virtual economic recovery roundtable on Vice President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Plan to create good jobs with living wages and help Iowans recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic. 

KCRG: Rep. Abby Finkenauer discusses Biden’s economic recovery plan during roundtable

“When you’re talking about those good wage protections, you’re talking about families being able to stay together and not have to travel for work,” she said. “If we’re able to actually protect workers, protect their wages and actually have those opportunities right here in Iowa and locally, and not have those loopholes, you’re talking about families being able to stay together.”

Finkenauer is ensuring small towns and rural roads and bridges are prioritized in the House $1.5 trillion infrastructure package.