Ernst urges patience as kinks in small-business aid are worked out
Corridor Business Journal: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst called for patience as small businesses await dispersal of nearly $350 billion in emergency relief, cautioning that working through kinks in the new federal Payroll Protection Program might take some time, and promising that additional help is on the way. The program for businesses employing 500 workers or fewer, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, is off to a somewhat rocky start since launching April 3, with computer system crashes, unclear guidance and overwhelming demand slowing the processing of the forgivable loans meant to give the business community a lifeline. “We do understand there are hiccups in the system and every day I’m on the phone with the [Small Business Administration] and the Treasury Department to work out those issues,” Ernst said during a Tuesday online Q&A hosted by Iowa City civic booster groups.  

New Fed programs could pump $2.3 trillion into the economy
New York Times: The Federal Reserve said it could pump $2.3 trillion into the economy through new and expanded programs it announced today, ramping up its already extensive efforts to help companies and state and local governments suffering financially amid the coronavirus. The central bank rolled out its relief package just as the government announced that 6.6 million more Americans were newly jobless. The Fed announced that it would use Treasury Department funds recently authorized by Congress to buy municipal bonds and expand corporate bond-buying programs to include some lower-rated and riskier debt. The Fed also rolled out a highly anticipated business lending program that targets midsize companies, including those not eligible under a Small Business Administration loan program.