Gov. Phil Scott has propsoed a $400 million dollar relief package, using funds the state received from the federal COVID-19 relief CARES Act.
The funds will be distributed in two phases, starting with $250 million dollars to provide immediate financial assistance in the form of grants and loans to the most impacted businesses.
“There are too many small business owners who are desperate right now,” he said. “Family businesses that have been around for decades and don’t see a path out of the red.”
Scott is also proposing $150 million in emergency assistance for fixed costs expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities, inventory and other expenses. Designed as a cash payment to operators based on a formula utilizing their last three years of revenue. $80 million will be for emergency stimulus grants and low-interest loans fund available to open and close businesses.
Priority will be given to those businesses not included in the emergency action grants; $20 million of the funding will be used to backstop loans, provide interest rate buy-downs to loans made by non-profit lenders, and provide grants to businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19.
The rest of the relief package will be broken down into three different parts: $50 million to help with rent payments and those who experience homelessness; $5 million for marketing to encourage Vermonters to explore the state and spend locally; and $5 million for technical assistance to help businesses re-emerge from this crisis.
“This package will help them keep afloat while we get through this phase,” Scott said.
Phase two will have an estimated $90 million for community recovery, broadband investment, and retraining and reskilling unemployed Vermonters.
“This is meant to help our economy, not just survive but come out better positioned to thrive well into the future,” Scott said.
The NIFB Of Vermont said it hopes the legislature takes to pass the governor’s package. The governor also says he will be making more announcements about further openings this Friday.