IDA GROVE, Iowa (KTIV) -- As many places start to open back up, some wonder how small businesses have been able to overcome COVID-19 related challenges.
To get some answers and offer help, Senator Joni Ernst was in Ida Grove on Saturday to speak to several business owners.
"Whether it is housing challenges, the challenges of small businesses in rural communities, rural broadband is a really big deal in our rural areas, and hearing ideas on how we can do better, and also hearing about the programs that have really worked for these small business owners," said Ernst.
One of the programs that worked for one Ida Grove business was the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.
It's a program Ernst worked on with the Small Business Committee which offers financial help to some businesses.
"It was really great to hear from a business that was able to utilize those funds through a local lender and be able to stay open and provide for their employees," said Ernst.
"We have had zero income for those last two months. We did apply for the PPP and we were able to have that so we could sustain and keep paying our bills and keeping our business growing," said Skate Palace Manager Kelli Whiteing.
With all these small businesses overcoming various hardships, owners say they hope Ernst takes the success stories back to Washington D.C.
"Small communities, we're thriving. I just hope that she gets the feeling that as a community we are all together," said Whiteing.
Other matters Ernst talked about while on her visit included in-person voting for the November elections.
She said she hopes to see more activity at polling places across the state this fall.