Ernst Pushes for Efficient and Effective Disaster Assistance for Iowa’s Businesses, Homeowners Impacted by Flooding

The Iowa Senator chaired today’s Small Business Committee hearing which included testimony by the State Director of Iowa’s Small Business Development Center

WASHINGTON—Building on her efforts to provide assistance to Iowans devastated by flooding this spring, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) chaired today’s Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing focused on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flood response in Iowa and across the Midwest.

In her opening remarks, Senator Ernst highlighted the devastating impact of flooding in Iowa, including an estimated $1.6 billion in damages, and her work to get the disaster aid package across the finish line and signed into law. She recognized the significant role the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance has played in the recovery effort and how important it is to continue assessing the programs to ensure they’re providing “effective and timely assistance” to those impacted.

Click here or the image above for Senator Ernst’s opening statement

Today’s hearing included an Iowa witness: Lisa Shimkat, the state director of Iowa’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). During Ms. Shimkat’s testimony, she outlined the work SBDC teams have been doing on the ground in Iowa, including coordinating with local business leaders and other partners to help Iowa businesses navigate through the process of cleanup and move toward recovery. You can find her full testimony here.

Click here or the image above for Ms. Shimkat’s testimony

During the hearing, Senator Ernst questioned James Rivera, Associate Administrator of SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, about improving the process for Iowans to apply for and receive disaster assistance. In addition, she asked Ms. Shimkat about the challenges businesses in Iowa have faced since the flooding and how responsive and timely the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance has been during the recovery process. Click here to watch Senator Ernst’s full line of questioning.

Information on the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance:

The SBA offers Disaster Assistance Loans to businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters. For more information, click here. Additional resources for flood recovery assistance can be found on Iowa’s disaster relief website.