Scott Presents $400 Million Economic Relief and Recovery Package
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Phil Scott announced a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the $1.25 billion the state received from the Federal CARES Act.
The two-phase proposal, which is expected to be the first of multiple packages necessary to fully recover, will start with $310 million for immediate emergency relief to the most impacted sectors and businesses to be followed by $90 million in long-term recovery investments.
Scott said at his media briefing Wednesday that the proposal now will go to the Legislature for its approval. He said he hopes they can turn it around in a week so he can start distributing the money as soon as possible.
Much of the focus of the relief package is aimed at businesses that are struggling the most during the COVID-19 pandemic: Tourism, food & beverage, retail, and the dairy industry. But, Scott added, any business damaged during this crisis can apply for one of the grants or loans.
“The relief and recovery package we are proposing today, takes bold action to bring support to Vermonters in need, as we continue to manage this public health crisis and open the economy back up,” said Governor Scott. “We are looking to address the immediate cash needs of businesses so they can survive, while also laying the foundation for our economy to emerge stronger and thrive over the long term. These local businesses and their employees drive our economy, put food on the tables of Vermonters and help fund critical needs for families, public schools and so much more. We must step up and act quickly to help them survive this emergency and go on to thrive in the future.”
The Phase 1 relief package will involve four areas of distinct action to support businesses and Vermonters as they resume their operations. They include:
Financial assistance - Emergency Action Grants for food and accommodation services, retail, and agriculture, Vermont Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant program, and small business focused Vermont Restart loans and grants. ($250 million).
Housing assistance - Rental Housing Stabilization Fund for property owners and a Re-Housing Recovery Fund to address homeless need. ($50 million)
Technical assistance - Restart Vermont Recovery Guides created through a network of business and community assistance providers, and Employee Assistance Program to support the mental health and wellbeing of business owners and their families. ($5 million).
Marketing support - Promotional marketing campaign to promote Vermont to Vermonters and deliver a toolkit of creative assets to be used by local communities, and regional marketing and consumer stimulus grants to encourage local spending, with implementation strategies to be proposed by local entities. ($5 million).
“These ideas are the result of talking to many local employers over the last two months to identify what they need now, and what they will need on the other side of this,” said Agency of Commerce Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “What we heard in those conversations was that there are gaps in federal programs and these initiatives announced today work to address those gaps for our most vulnerable sectors. We know this recovery will be long and that steps announced today will not solve every problem we face, but they will help businesses return to operation, work towards new innovative business practices, and engage all Vermonters in supporting their local communities.”
Read the plan here.
Source: Vermont Business Magazine