$93 MILLION CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY ECONOMIC RECOVERY PACKAGE FAST-TRACKED TO GOVERNOR
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2020
Contact: Katherine Levasseur, Chief of Staff, Office of the Speaker of the House; (802) 828-2245
$93 MILLION CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY ECONOMIC RECOVERY PACKAGE
FAST-TRACKED TO GOVERNOR
MONTPELIER, VT - The Vermont House today fast-tracked a $93 million Coronavirus Emergency Economic Recovery Grants package. The only remaining step is the Governor's signature to get this relief money in the hands of Vermonters and their businesses.
The bill provides:
- $50 million of Coronavirus Emergency Economic Recovery Grants distributed to businesses by the Department of Taxes and Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
- $20 million to local, regional, and State economic development organizations to distribute grants under the program, which may include the Vermont Economic Development Authority, regional development corporations, community action agencies, and private institutions.
- $23 million to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board for grants to nonprofit housing partners and service organizations as well as for shelter facilities necessary to provide self shelter and assistance for persons who are, or at risk of, experiencing homelessness, in order to mitigate COVID-19 effects.
"It is critical that money gets into the hands of Vermonters and their businesses as quickly as possible," said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). "This package is on the fast-track to ensure there are as few impediments between Vermont businesses and the relief money as possible. The legislature is working intensely to get nearly a billion dollars into the hands of Vermonter and Vermont businesses, while we plan for unforeseen circumstances and ensure we are able to meet the greatest needs in the months to come."
In an effort to get the relief money to Vermont businesses as quickly as possible, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Taxes have ten days to publish guidelines governing the implementation of their programs, including application and award procedures, eligibility standards, grant amounts, and provisions that ensure equitable distribution of the funds among regions and across business types, sizes, and sectors.
House Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair, Representative Michael Marcotte (R-Coventry) added, "the Legislature's proposal focuses on grants, rather than loans, as our members heard from businesses that this is the area of greatest need and they have limited ability to incur additional debt. There will be additional legislation addressing business recovery efforts coming next week, but we prioritized fast-tracking this bill to ensure businesses will receive funds as soon as possible."
"We expect the number of Vermonters experiencing housing insecurity to sharply increase in the coming months," added House General, Housing, & Military Affairs Chair, Representative Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury). "Ensuring this money is available now for shelter facilities is critical to mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 on Vermont families in the months to come."