03.22.21

IN FIRST VISIT AS MAJORITY LEADER, SCHUMER DELIVERS MASSIVE COVID RESCUE RELIEF TO THE MOHAWK VALLEY; WITH CHECKS HITTING BANK ACCOUNTS, MILLIONS MORE COMING TO LOCAL FAMILIES, WORKERS, RESTAURANTS & SMALL BUSINESSES, SENATOR OUTLINES UTICA WINS

American Rescue Passage Brought Swift Deposits Of $1,400 Direct Payments For Tens Of Thousands Of Mohawk Valley Residents, Millions More Dollars Coming In Grants To Restaurants And Independent Venues, Schools, State & Local Aid, Rental Assistance, Pension Relief, And Historic Child Tax Credit Expansion

Deal Is On Top Of $150+ Billion Schumer Already Delivered To NY Earlier In Pandemic Relief Legislation; Researchers Say Rescue Deal Will Also Cut Child Poverty In Half 

Schumer: Mohawk Valley To Get Big Slice Of $100B Pie  

Standing at Chesterfield’s Tavolo in Utica, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that ‘help is on the way’ as he detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan he just led to passage in the U.S. Senate. Using Chesterfield’s Tavolo as a backdrop, Schumer explained that New York restaurants are now eligible for their own, DIRECT, federal pandemic relief, thanks to a provision he championed. The new restaurant relief fund, modeled on the widely supported, bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act, will provide a down-payment of $28.6 billion in flexible grants through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a lifeline for New York’s restaurant industry, one of the hardest hit by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With 27% of New York’s restaurants saying they will not survive the next 3 months without additional aid, Mohawk Valley restaurants, their employees and the overall regional economy still need immediate federal relief to weather COVID because too many of the places we know and love could close without the help, leaving a giant hole in our local economy,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I made sure this relief bill included a vital ingredient – a restaurants relief fund based on the RESTAURANTS Act– to get our restaurants ‘cooking’ again.”

Schumer explained that food service or drinking establishments, including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms, that are not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations will be eligible.  To provide comprehensive support to local restaurants, grants from the fund could be used alongside first and second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

Schumer’s new restaurants relief fund provides flexible grants of up to $10 million per restaurant group, $5 million per individual restaurant, that can be used to cover payroll, mortgages or rent, setup for outdoor seating, PPE, paid leave, food and other supplies, or debt and other expenses. Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21 and the SBA Administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant. $5 billion of the $28.6 billion total is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019 for the first 60 days of the program. During the initial 21-day period, the administrator will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women or Veterans or are socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.

Schumer added, “When you think of Utica, the first thing that comes to mind is great food and restaurants. Getting federal dollars into the hands of struggling local restaurants is the recipe needed to keep this community’s lifeblood – its local food scene – strong and vibrant.”

Schumer also detailed the American Rescue Plan’s tentative impact to New York as more than $100 Billion dollars. The deal includes the additional round of direct stimulus checks for over 100K Oneida County residents, on top of aid to help schools and colleges safely reopen, vaccine distribution, critical pension relief, an expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, new rental assistance, agriculture and nutrition assistance, direct local fiscal relief to revive the local economy and help solve Mohawk Valley’s budget woes, a key fix to allow independent venues to access PPP and Save Our Stages grants, and more, all of which adds up to essential relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent live venues and small businesses across the state.

Schumer also highlighted that researchers have said that the American Rescue Plan will cut the child poverty rate in half. This plan:

  • Makes the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully refundable and increases the credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6). An estimated 3.56 million children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit, and it will lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line. New York families to receive $7.03 billion from enhanced CTC.
  • Strengthens the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers, many of whom are in lower-paid but essential jobs on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, benefitting 910,000 of these workers in New York. New York families to receive over $786 million from enhanced ETIC
  • Sends $22 million in direct payments of $1,400 to over 9 million New Yorkers. That includes approximately $263 million in direct payments for more than an estimated 105,000 households in Oneida County

Additionally, the American Rescue plan will provide $4 million in rental assistance directly to Oneida County. With over 2,000 households in Utica currently spending more than 30% of their income on housing, Schumer explained that rental assistance is also a necessary tool of fighting poverty and will provide help struggling landlords.

As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion will flow directly to New York state government(s) – including $63.99 million for the city of Utica, $25.94 million for city of Rome, $44.35 million for Oneida County and over $15 million for Oneida County towns and villages. New York State government will receive over $12 billion, solving the state’s budget woes.

The American Rescue Plan also includes $9 Billion for New York’s K-12 Schools – these flexible funds will support school districts in reopening safely for in-person instruction and addressing the many needs that students are facing due to the pandemic. Oneida County school districts are allocated over $90 million dollars through the plan, including $56 million for the Utica City School District and $13 million for the Rome City School District.

New York’s Colleges and Universities will also receive $2.6B from the American Rescue Plan, half of which must be distributed to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by COVID-19. Mohawk Valley Community College will receive over $15 million, Utica College over $7 million and SUNY Polytechnic Institute over $6 million.

Schumer was able to secure more than $7 Billion in transit funding for New York, with $4.4 million going directly to CENTRO for its Utica-Rome operations.

The legislation also delivers critical relief for suffering multiemployer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting benefits retirees have earned. In New York State alone, there are more than 1.3 million participants in multiemployer pension plans, and around 624,600 New Yorkers are participants in plans that are expected to receive relief directly through this legislation.

“As Majority Leader, I fought hard to ensure this deal sent real relief to the tune of $100 billion to New York for workers, families, farmers, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and communities like Utica—the things we need to support in order to weather this crisis and then work to recover,” added Schumer added. “This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it comes just in time, because Mohawk Valley residents still need real help to get through this.”

OTHER FUNDS FOR NEW YORK

  • New Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing: $4 Billion
  • Medicaid FMAP Increase: $2.7 Billion ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to approximately 600 million from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)
  • Airport Funding: $418 Million
  • Amtrak Relief: $1.7 Billion (Relief for Amtrak to help maintain operations and other expenditures during the pandemic, especially in New York.)
  • Child Care and Help for NY Families: $5.3 Billion
  • Enhanced Unemployment Benefits for NYers: $21.7 Billion
  • $575 Million in mortgage and utility assistance for homeowners

FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACROSS NEW YORK

  • Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief: $57.8 Billion
  • Economic Development Grants, Including for Tourism and Travel: $3 Billion
  • Nutrition and Agriculture Assistance: $22 Billion
  • Broadband Connectivity: $632 Million

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