The American Rescue Plan Act will deliver $2.7 billion to Vermont, so business owners looked forward to Governor Scott’s proposal for additional recovery grants. On Tuesday, the Governor enthusiastically announced the reopening plan, crediting Vermont’s businesses with saving lives by shutting down. Later in the day, when the administration announced its $1 billion ARPA proposal, business owners were dismayed to discover that the plan allocates only $50 million for economic recovery grants. Knowing that the legislature approved $330 million in the last round, which only covered the first half of Covid impacts, this $50 million was one more gut punch to a group that has had a most challenging year.
For many business, the climb out of their revenue holes will be much more difficult unless the legislature acknowledges the importance of helping them rebound, which will also boost the economy. As everyone scrambles for some of the ARPA funds, Vermont’s small business owners hope their value to the state’s economy is not overlooked.
VLA’s lobbyist met with the Senate Pro Tem on April 9th with a group of allies to ask the Senate to fund these grants up to the $330 million that was allocated in the last round. They received a warm reception but were told that we will have to work hard to make our case to our Senators. More information will be forthcoming.