July 1, 2020

Vermonters and Vermont businesses need relief now. The Coronavirus Relief Funds Recovery Package – H.966H.965, and S.351 – were delivered to the Governor’s desk on June 30th. Vermonters need him to sign the bills now to ensure the money reaches the people and businesses that are waiting for it.

The legislature passed the initial business recovery bill, the Emergency Economic Relief Package (S.350/Act 115) on June 16th. The Governor announced only today that businesses can start applying for these grants next week. That’s three weeks since the legislature fast-tracked $93 million in the Emergency Economic Relief Package to his desk for implementation. And how long until the money is in the hands of those businesses? The legislature kept the program broad and flexible for the more critically impacted business to help them immediately. It’s outrageous that Vermonters have been kept waiting for so long by the Governor. They can’t wait any longer.

That is why I am calling on the Governor to sign the Coronavirus Relief Funds Recovery Package today and to make the additional $575.7 million in that package available to Vermonters and Vermont businesses by Monday, July 6th. Vermonters don’t have three more weeks to wait.

The legislature involved the administration every step of the way in developing these bills. Vermont business owners criticized the loan program proposed by the Administration. We heard loud and clear that they needed grant funding, not loans due in less than 6 months that would add to their financial burden, as they try to regain their footing.  We responded and passed the grants Vermonters requested. Changing his plan was the right thing to do and it was done with the support of the business community and with the administration up-to-speed every step of the way. I’m proud the legislature also addressed the needs of childcare businesses and food security, both critically needed and ignored in the Governor’s proposal.

Vermonters need this money now. I call on the Governor to sign the bills immediately and to give Vermonters a path forward. Vermonters can’t wait any longer.