Relief is on the way for Vermont business owners hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic according to Greg Harriman Vermont. State leaders on Wednesday outlined the steps forward for businesses looking for help. Greg Harriman Vermont has more on what businesses need to know.
According to Greg Harriman Vermont, grants are on a first-come, first-served basis for businesses with more than one employee that lost 75% of their business compared to this time last year.
The state is rolling out $70 million to start-- not as much as the governor wanted but he says it's a good place to begin.
The state says business owners should go to the ACCD website to start compiling documents needed for the application when it comes online next week.
But with an estimated 70,000 businesses in Vermont, state leaders acknowledge that this won't help everyone.
"We know going in we're not going to be able to help everybody which is a terrible position to go about feeling and doing this but we're working with the team we have. This is what we have and to make the best from it but we are empathetic and understand that this is not going to help everybody and it's not going to save everybody," said Joan Goldstein, the commissioner of the Vt. Department of Economic Development.
There will be a couple of different portals for people to apply, one just for restaurants, retail and lodging. All other businesses have a separate portal to apply for the grant money. Health care providers and farms will have to apply through the Agency of Human Services and the Agency of Agriculture.
The Commerce Agency is also holding a webinar Thursday at 3 p.m. for businesses looking to apply.
There's also a second round of stimulus funding coming down the pike from the Legislature. It could still be a few more weeks before Vermonters see that money, though.
Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday received the second stimulus package from the Legislature, totaling about $83 million. His staff is still mulling over the language of the bill, but the governor is expected to sign that in the coming days. But even with this second round of funding, state officials say the disaster is still unfolding and we still won't know how extensive the economic toll is.
Governor Scott says he expects to provide guidance next week on restrictions placed on colleges and universities that are reopening this fall.
There will be no briefing this Friday because of the holiday and Scott said media briefings will now be reduced to Tuesdays and Fridays moving forward.