$28.6 BILLION FOR RESTAURANTS & BARS; SVOG PROGRAM TO NOW OPEN TO PPP RECIPIENTS
The North Country Chamber of Commerce is highlighting several elements of the latest COVID-19 relief bill enacted by the U.S. Senate on Saturday.
"It is a massive and complex bill with things to welcome and others to question," noted Garry Douglas, Chamber President. "Consistent with our recent issue survey, we welcome the inclusion of substantial aid to state and local governments. Assistance for our counties is especially important as they are very much on the front line of the pandemic impacts and the response. Clinton County should see $15.61 million, Franklin $9.7 million and Essex $7.15 million, and a further $2.1 million for Plattsburgh International Airport to sustain it until the return of active travel. And we will see additional aid to help get our colleges and our rural hospitals stabilized for the future."
"On the business front, there is a new $28.6 billion grant program to help independent restaurants and bars. These grants will be open to bars and restaurants, including those that have used the PPP program, assisting with further uncovered losses. And Senator Schumer obtained language amending the Shuttered Venues Grant Program created in December, opening it similarly to performance venues, independent cinemas and museums who have used PPP but still have uncovered operating losses. We and others told the Senator how few of the venues could apply as they had used PPP and therefore were ineligible, even though it wasn't adequate to stabilize them. And he quickly responded with inclusion of this change. Once the bill receives final House passage and is signed into law, we will obtain and disseminate information as soon as it becomes available on both of these programs, including organizing an informational webinar."
The Chamber also notes that substantial new support has been provided to the nation's transit agencies including the MTA in New York City. "We have been highlighting this for its importance to our region's transportation equipment producers including Alstom and Nova Bus. The hope is that this will firm up existing contracts as well as encourage the possible release of those that some agencies have put on hold."
The bill now returns to the U.S. House for what may be final action this week.
The North Country Chamber will continue to issue updates as action and information becomes available.