Scott plans to use an additional $133 million to help businesses

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Officials say Vermont still has the lowest positivity rate in the country and an additional 7,000 people can come to the state without a quarantine.

On Friday, Governor Phil Scott announced he wants to use an additional $133 million in federal CARES Act funding to help businesses.

” We had to back off the throttle on our economic engine in order to slow the spread of the virus. So, now we need to focus like a laser on helping these businesses and the jobs they provide survive,” said Scott.

Vermont initially received $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding. In the spring, lawmakers approved a $240 million economic relief package for businesses. However, Scott said he knew that wasn’t going to be enough and he explained that lawmakers held back about $200 million of the CARES Act funding.

” We need to use the money we have left and make investments for economic recovery,” said Scott.

Commerce Secretary Lindsey Kurrle said $23 million would go to businesses and nonprofits. $50 million would go to hospitality and tourism. Another $50 million will go towards a buy local campaign, and 410 million will go to tourism marketing to attract visitors.

“The lodging sector is down ninety seven percent and food and service is down eighty seven percent from previous years,” said Secretary Kurrle.

Meanwhile, Secretary Mike Smith said three nursing homes as well as additional assisted living and residential care home facilities are in phase three of a visitation plan.

“Phase three occurs at 42 days with no new cases and no community spread, at this phase indoor visitors are allowed,” said Smith.

Smith also said there are currently two positive cases in long term care facilities.

“As many of you know we are doing an aggressive facility wide testing program in our nursing homes,” said Secretary Smith.

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