One of the things that makes Iowa Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Peosta, an effective lawmaker is her firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing small business in the state.

As owner and operator of Trackside Bar and Grill in Peosta, Lundgren is particularly well versed in what bars and restaurants have gone through in the past year in trying to adapt and survive amid the pandemic. That gave Lundgren a key vantage point in helping shape what state assistance for small businesses in Iowa might look like. Thankfully, Gov. Kim Reynolds listened.

Last week’s announcement that the Iowa Restaurant and Bar Relief Grant Program would provide one-time grants of up to $25,000 to businesses whose gross sales decreased in the second and third quarters of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 was equivalent to a life preserver tossed to these establishments.

After weeks of calls — including from this Editorial Board — for the state to spend some of its fat surplus to help struggling Iowa businesses battle through this year, Reynolds announced the state would spend up to $40 million on the grant program.

That’s a great use of taxpayer dollars — to buoy Iowa businesses that might otherwise be lost to the pandemic. Requiring businesses to show year over year losses adds a piece of accountability not present in some federal aid.

Reynolds specifically thanked Lundgren for her work planning the program with Iowa Economic Development Authority, work that began last summer. On behalf of all Iowans, we add our gratitude as well.

It’s encouraging when elected officials set aside their partisan identities and come together for the good of the people. Such is the case among Iowa’s delegation when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, reached out to President Joe Biden, urging him to revoke small oil refinery exemption waivers issued in the last days of the Trump administration. These waivers were the first issued since September, when then-President Donald Trump finally began denying them after years of pressure by Corn Belt lawmakers. The waivers exempt specific refiners from following renewable fuel standards.

Gov. Kim Reynolds stepped up on Tuesday, vowing to work with the Biden administration and state lawmakers on a multimillion-dollar effort to help the biofuels industry recover from the pandemic.

With former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack returning to the role of U.S. secretary of agriculture, and strong support for renewables from Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Iowa farmers are in position to see the strength of the Renewable Fuel Standard restored.

A proposal for a Fortune 500 multinational company to occupy a new warehousing, assembly and distribution facility in the Platteville (Wis.) Industrial Park makes for an exciting opportunity at a time when communities are hungry for positive economic news.

Platteville Common Council members on Tuesday initiated the process to consolidate five parcels in the industrial park into a nearly 21-acre lot, paving the way for a proposed $20 million project that, if finalized, would be the largest in the park’s history.

Although the details haven’t all been revealed, the opportunity to bring quality jobs to Platteville and the tri-state area opens new doors for the region.

Credit goes to Platteville officials for putting the building blocks in place to bring this incredible project to the table, including preparing the site with road access and utilities. Another engine that powers economic development projects is community partnerships, which the area has with Platteville Area Industrial Development Corp., Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Platteville all working together with city officials.

We’re excited to see this amazing possibility come to full bloom in Platteville.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.

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