On May 20, Governor Phil Scott announced his proposal for a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the $1.25 billion the state received from the Federal CARES Act. The two-phase proposal will start with $310 million for immediate relief to the most impacted sectors and businesses to be followed by $90 million for long-term recovery efforts. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Governor will now work with the Legislature towards passage of this historic relief package.
The Phase 1 relief package will involve four areas of distinct action to support businesses and Vermonters as they resume their operations. They include:
- Financial assistance: Emergency Action Grants for food and accommodation services, retail, and agriculture, Vermont Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant program, and small business focused Vermont Restart loans and grants. ($250MM)
- Housing assistance: Rental Housing Stabilization Fund for property owners and a Re-Housing Recovery Fund to address homeless need. ($50MM)
- Technical assistance: Restart Vermont Recovery Guides created through a network of business and community assistance providers, and Employee Assistance Program to support the mental health and wellbeing of business owners and their families. ($5MM)
- Marketing support: Promotional marketing campaign to promote Vermont to Vermonters and deliver a toolkit of creative assets to be used by local communities, and regional marketing and consumer stimulus grants to encourage local spending, with implementation strategies to be proposed by local entities. ($5MM)
Phase 2 of the relief and recovery package is intended to help Vermonters find a path forward to thrive in a new economy, following their survival in Phase 1 in four different categories:
- Financial assistance: Funding to help prevent wide-scale foreclosures, bankruptcies and deterioration of the sectors and the communities in which they operate. Support longer term recovery efforts via seed funding to create and grow job creators in new technologies, utilizing IP, and to support prosperity for the state. ($55.5MM)
- Housing and Community Recovery: Provide grants, technical assistance, and resources to villages and downtowns that restore consumer confidence, rebuild local economies, boost local capacity, and reconnect Vermonters to one another. Additional funding to provide direct financial assistance to stabilize households that could otherwise face foreclosure. ($11MM)
- Broadband Expansion: Broadband expansion program to connect the last mile, bridge the affordability gap, and streamline the processing of pole licensing applications to ensure that businesses and families have continue access necessary to adapt to this new way of life. ($20MM)
- Regulatory Modernization: Enhance economic recovery by modernizing Vermont’s regulatory programs and environmental permitting tools. These investments will accelerate the transition of program administration from paper-based to web-based and changes to support more efficient permit processing. ($3.5MM)
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development hosted a series of webinars to help explain the relief and recovery package and how it will support various sectors throughout the economy. We welcome all to take part in the general or sector specific presentations.