The American Rescue Plan will help New York State cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the economic slowdown that resulted from COVID-19, the federal government passed a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on March 11 that allocates about $189 million to Westchester County.
The American Rescue Plan includes $100 billion for New York State, of which $3.8 billion goes to the 57 counties in New York State and the five boroughs of New York City, based on population. Westchester County itself is expected to receive nearly $200 million.
Aimed at helping state and local governments, transit agencies, businesses, and other enterprises that have been financially affected by the pandemic, the relief plan will budget deficits and prevent cutbacks in programs, projects, and services that would’ve put thousands out of work.
The first half of the funding, about $94 million, will become available to the county in May. Federal regulations will help determine how the funds are allocated, but the Westchester County government hopes to administer these funds to specific programs including grants for small businesses, personal protective equipment, essential public employee overtime pay, and more.
“We’re definitely going to restart our program of grants to small businesses, which we did last year and we spent about $10 billion on that altogether,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer says. “We’ll definitely fund more money for our feeding programs. Last year, we spent about $5 million of the coronavirus Cares Act money on feeding.”
Westchester county will also be receiving allocations of $23 million for eviction protections and $47 million for transit costs, separate from and in addition to the $189 million.
The county executive says he is also hoping to allocate funds to support Westchester County Airport and Playland, which is expected to reopen next month at reduced capacity and with health restrictions.