Legislature offers draft of relief package for businesses, $70 million initially – Vermont Biz

Tips & Guides

Governor Scott answers a question at Friday’s press briefing.

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Draft legislation developed in the House and presented Thursday would initially cut in half the emergency aid to businesses proposed by the Scott Administration. Of the $310 million Governor Scott had proposed, $150 million was to be rushed to the most vulnerable businesses, like restaurants and retail, and the rest targeted for other businesses. The legislative proposal basically would cut that in half initially with $50 million going to restaurants and retail and another $20 targeted for general business to expedite the process.

The whole package would be passed by the end of June when the Legislature will go into recess. The governor said at today’s press briefing he does not have a problem with that schedule as long as the money is distributed quickly and the whole $400 million package is enacted by the end of the month.

Agriculture, especially dairy, would be given priority as would dairy product producers. The $400 million package would include aid to nonprofits as well. Phase one would distribute $310 million (see plan below) with another $90 held for a phase two.

The money comes from the federal CARES Act federal stimulus. Vermont received $1.25 billion.

“We want to get the money out as quick as possible, whatever means that takes,” Scott said.

“I would like to see them pass the whole package as quickly as possible, but if that is not possible, and they can only get half done