Over $100 million in recovery grants awarded, still more available

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Over $100 million in recovery grants awarded, still more available

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 1:38pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Commerce and the Department of Taxes reported Monday that more than $103 million in Vermont Economic Recovery Grants have been awarded to more than 3,500 businesses in 22 different sectors and in all 14 counties in Vermont. There are still funds available. The total amount per business also has been expanded for both new and those who have already received a grant to a maximum of $150,000 each. The Scott Administration will also ask the Legislature to expand eligibility.

The Department of Taxes launched the Emergency Grant Program for businesses who remitted sales and use, and rooms and meals tax on July 6. The same day, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development launched an Emergency Grant Program for all other eligible businesses pursuant to Act 115 and Act 137.

The data contained in their report breaks down the distribution of grant awards by county, firm size, sector and by the Agency’s statutorily defined funding sources.

These grants provide financial assistance and a temporary lifeline to Vermont businesses who have suffered loss because of the public health and safety measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle, as we continue to look to stabilize our economy in the long term, these grants are an essential component to that. In the data it is clear the most impacted sectors are the restaurant, lodging and accommodation service industries.

Due to continued capacity restrictions, we will all need to continue to support these sectors as they will continue to experience loss in the months ahead, Kurrle said in the report submitted to the Legislature by her and Craig Bolio, commissioner of the Department of Taxes.

There continues to be demand and need for these grants and we expect to see many more applications come in as businesses reconcile and record losses through the end of August, she said, especially those that rely heavily on summer tourism revenues.

A link to the list of businesses who have received awards, including grant award amounts, as well as the full grant program guidance can be found on the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s website.

The Scott Administration will also be asking the Legislature when it reconvenes August 25 to expand eligibility in the program to businesses who have suffered just 30 percent instead of at least 50 percent losses and to all sole proprietors.

There is still over $100 million left from the original CARES Act federal money that must be spent by the end of the year. While there are strict restrictions on how that money can be spent, allocations for businesses suffering COVID-related losses are allowable.

The distribution of grants has largely followed total employment by county, with notable exceptions for Franklin County (less than employment percent) and Lamoille County (more than employment percent).

The reports also notes that the largest monetary distribution went to businesses in the 10-24 employment range, which represents the largest such segment of the economy. Those businesses with 10-24 workers employ 28 percent of the workforce and received 31 percent of the money distributed so far.

The report and the lists of businesses awarded can be viewed here.  

Businesses that have not yet applied for an Economic Recovery Grant are encouraged to apply if they have experienced losses of at least 50 percent in the months of March to July, 2020 (compared to any one-month period from March to July in 2019).

Businesses that may not have been eligible based on earlier months are encouraged to evaluate their losses for the month of July as they may now be eligible. 

More information can be found at Economic Recovery Grant Program website.

Vermont Economic Recovery Grant Program Maximum Increased for Certain Sectors

Governor Phil Scott, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Department of Taxes announced on August 18 that the maximum grant award for Economic Recovery Grants for certain Vermont businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been increased. The increase in the maximum grant award is available to businesses in the lodging, retail, hospitality, arts, travel and event affiliated sectors that have continued capacity constraints. Previously, businesses could receive up to $50,000 in grant funds.

Now, businesses in eligible industries can receive up to an additional $100,000 in grant funding, for a total of $150,000 from the program.

The increased maximum award is available both to new applicants to the program and to those businesses that have already received a $50,000 grant.

Since they are all within the eligible sectors, all businesses that received a $50,000 grant award from the Department of Taxes are eligible to request an increase to the new maximum award amount and can do so through myVTax starting August 18. 

ACCD will be contacting any eligible businesses that already received a $50,000 grant through ACCD, notifying them this supplemental grant funding may be available to them starting Monday, August 24, 2020.  

Businesses that have not yet applied for an Economic Recovery Grant are encouraged to apply if they have experienced losses of at least 50 percent in the months of March to July, 2020 (compared to any one-month period from March to July in 2019).

Businesses that may not have been eligible based on earlier months are encouraged to evaluate their losses for the month of July as they may now be eligible. More information can be found at Economic Recovery Grant Program website.