U.S. Sen. and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said last Monday that the state’s cut of the $900 billion federal bipartisan plan for the COVID relief will come to over $54 billion for working families, frontline workers, small businesses, renters, and vaccine distribution.
“This marks the second biggest relief bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it delivers aid that is urgently needed by the unemployed, by renters at risk of losing their homes, by small business owners worried about going out of business, by people seeking vaccination, by schools that spent money to keep kids safe, by families struggling to make ends meet and so much more,” said Schumer. “Clearly, there is more to be done –this is not a stimulus—this is a SURVIVAL bill, and we will fight for more relief under President Biden, because this crisis is not over.”
Schumer said about $810 million in funds will be funneled directly to New York City for reining in the COVID-19 outbreak, with $135 million dedicated to vaccine distribution and $675 million for testing, tracing, isolation support and COVID mitigation. NYC hospitals and health centers are to receive $1 billion in additional support and relief.
There will be significant funds set aside for child care to assist essential workers and working families, emergency internet connections, food benefits, unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021, and disaster relief and funeral assistance for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in New York, said Schumer.
At least $9 billion will be allotted for another round of direct cash payments to New Yorkers, including $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 annually and $1,200 for couples making less than $150,000.
The deal also includes $20 billion for small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance and about $13 billion allocated for the New York State budget; with roughly $5 billion for Education, $4.2 billion for transit and the MTA/LIRR, $1.6 billion for COVID and vaccine relief, and $1.3 billion for the rent relief program.
“New York State governments will directly receive over $13 billion dollars in a variety of ways from mass transit aid, to education aid, to money for vaccinations and testing. In addition to direct relief checks, extending enhanced unemployment insurance, this deal provides another round of PPP and grants for small businesses across the state, including set-asides for minority-owned and other underserved businesses and new larger forgivable loans for restaurants as part of a funding bridge to the Biden administration where we will to fight secure additional relief,” said Schumer.
Schumer said that money will also be set aside for New York’s cultural life and livelihood, such as independent music and live event venues, Broadway, independent movie theaters, museums and other cultural institutions with the national Save Our Stages program.
The reinvigorated PPP will have community and minority depository institutions to make sure funds are actually reaching minority-owned and other underserved small businesses previously short-changed.
The bill also extends and expands the refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit through July 1, 2021, to help keep thousands of employees on payroll at small and midsize companies across the state.
[This story was originally published on our sister site, Kings County Politics.]