Featured, State News

Economic recovery grant program opens Monday, July 6

Governor Phil Scott, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), and Department of Tax announced Wednesday, July 1, that the Vermont’s Economic Recovery Grant Program will launch on Monday, July 6. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first serve basis. The grant program first proposed by the administration and amended by the legislature utilizes federal CARES Act funding to provide direct cash grants to Vermont businesses who have seen lost revenue because of Covid-19.

“Our businesses and their employees drive our economy, put food on the tables of Vermonters, and make our local communities better places to live,” said Governor Scott. “Helping these businesses survive is essential to the future of our state.  These economic recovery grants are a first step to ensuring our economy survives this period, so we can look to thrive in the wake of this pandemic.”

The initial wave of money available for grants will be $50 million administered through the Dept. of Tax for businesses who pay rooms and meals or sales and use tax. An additional $20 million will be available to all other private businesses and non-profits through ACCD.

Eligibility requirements include:

• Business was open and active before Feb. 15, 2020.
• Business is open at the time of application or is required to have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions but can certify to its intention to re-open when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
• Business has experienced a 75% or greater drop in total revenue in any one-month period from March 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2020, when compared with the same month in 2019.

The amount of the grant will be derived by the following formula:

• Indicated/reported gross annual revenue (or annual combined total sales as reported on meals and rooms or sales and use tax returns) multiplied by 10%.
• The maximum grant ceiling is $50,000.
• Each business or organization applicant may only receive one grant.
Please note, these conditions were added by the legislature in Act 115; the executive branch must adhere to the parameters set in legislation, but they were not part of the Governor’s initial proposal.

All businesses are strongly encouraged to visit the Recovery Grant Resource Center prior to July 6 for full details of the program, eligibility requirements, and documentation that will be needed with applications. Those resources can be found here.

A second wave of grant monies is expected, when H.966 reaches the Governor Scotts desk.  While that money has different parameters and carve outs, ACCD will use this same system for processing those grant applications.

“We realize there are a lot of moving parts and multiple pieces of legislation that have been passed over the last few weeks, with different implications for different sectors and creating confusion in the business community,” said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein. “We are developing a system where the ACCD grant resource center will work as the central place to direct businesses to the right application and eligibility requirements. It is our goal to distribute these funds as quickly and as seamlessly as possible, within weeks of an approved application.”

On Thursday, July 2, from 3-4 p.m. ACCD and the Dept. of Taxes hosted a webinar to cover eligibility requirements, grant award calculation information, grant application processes, and what documents businesses will want to have prepared and on-hand when applying for an Economic Recovery Grant. Another two webinars are scheduled to take place Friday, July 3: one at 8 a.m. and another at 11 a.m. To participate click here.

Here is a link to the slide presentation from that webinar.

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