Businesses Still Need Grant Funds to Help With Long-Term Recovery

With nearly $26 million in Economic Recovery Bridge Grants sitting idle, Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein suggested to House and Senate committees this funding be moved into the Capital Investment Program (CIP). The committees are interested in distributing this money quickly and businesses in their communities have expressed there is still great need across many sectors. The Vermont Chamber urged the committees to keep the money in the Bridge Grant program and fix the formula and application process to allow businesses to easily access this funding. While the Vermont Chamber is supportive of the CIP, it focuses on an entirely different set of businesses that have largely recovered and are looking to the future. Allocating money separately for that program is preferential to taking money away from the Business Grant program. For many businesses in the lodging, restaurant, and wedding industries, the pandemic is not over, and they still have unmet need.