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Iowa Trump, Biden voters agree on need for small business pandemic aid
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Iowa Trump, Biden voters agree on need for small business pandemic aid

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Election 2020 Iowa vote voting weblogo

Stickers for voters in Iowa's Primary Election sit on a table at the Polk County Central Senior Center on June 2 in Des Moines.

Iowa supporters of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden Trump agree on the need for Congress to provide more assistance to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.

A Sept. 8-10 poll of 500 likely Iowa voters found 95 percent of Biden enthusiasts and 94 percent of Trump’s backers agreed it’s important for Congress to implement a small-business agenda to keep businesses open and Iowans employed.

“Iowans have made it clear — they need additional government support, without which we risk losing these businesses and, over time, communities,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman said about the survey results.

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The poll was conducted by David Binder Research for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, an initiative to help small-business owners advocate for policy changes that help them, their employees and their communities.

The pandemic has decimated small businesses, which employ nearly half of all Americans, according to the Census Bureau. Many stayed afloat in the early stages of business shutdowns by drawing down cash reserves, George Washington University economics professor Steven Hamilton said. By July, more than 400,000 small businesses had closed, and he warned that small business closures could be 50 percent higher than at the peak of the Great Recession.

However, prospects for another round of COVID-19 relief, including assistance for small business, are not great.

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“Next to nil,” was Sen. Chuck Grassley’s assessment of the likelihood of more relief being approved before Congress adjourns for the election.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s promise to keep the House in session until something is approved offered him little encouragement.

“They’re going to have to pass something that’s a lot better than even what the bipartisan group put together yesterday that she rejected,” he said.

Pelosi turned down a $1.5 trillion “middle ground” package from the Problem Solvers Caucus — 25 GOP and 25 Democratic representatives. It would have provided another round of stimulus checks, boosted unemployment insurance and aid for state and local governments.

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Based on indications from the Trump administration, a compromise “might have a chance,” Grassley said. There have been suggestions the president might accept a $1.5 trillion package.

Binder found broad recognition among voters — 88 percent of Biden voters and 90 percent of Trump voters — of the importance of small businesses to the economy. The poll also found that 77 percent think the small-business community is overlooked by Congress, and 61 percent said those businesses have not received enough pandemic assistance.

And 73 percent said without that assistance, the pandemic will result in big businesses having an even larger advantage over small businesses.

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Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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