WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, was awarded the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s Guardian of Small Business Award for the 116th Congress based on her strong, pro-small business voting record. 
“Iowa small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy and play an essential role in supporting the everyday lives of folks throughout our communities,” said Senator Ernst. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created extreme challenges for Iowa small businesses, and as a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I’ve been fighting to ensure these workers and employers have the support they need. I am honored to receive this award, and will continue working for Iowa’s small businesses every day in the Senate.”
“Senator Ernst is a true champion of small business. The Senator understands the struggles and hurdles that Iowa small business owners face every day, especially during this economic and heath pandemic. Now, more than ever, as small business across Iowa struggle to recover, they need a friend fighting for them in Washington D.C.,” said Matt Everson, NFIB State Director in Iowa. “NFIB members know they can count on Senator Ernst to vote and act on their behalf.”
The Guardian of Small Business is awarded to members of Congress who vote with small businesses 70 percent or more of the time on key small business issues.
As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Ernst helped create the Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable loan to help small businesses survive the pandemic and keep their employees on payroll.
As a result of the PPP, Ernst helped deliver support to 61,418 Iowa small business totaling $5,124,660,961.
During her 99 County Tour, Ernst spoke with many small businesses about the need for additional relief. This week, she supported a COVID-19 relief package that included access to a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for Iowa small businesses. Democrats voted to block the bill.