Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Representative Joseph Hohenstein, Senator Tina Tartaglione and local business leaders to call on Pennsylvania’s Republican-led General Assembly to immediately use $1.7 billion in unspent American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help Pennsylvania families and small businesses that are hurting right now from inflation and rising prices.
“Families and businesses all across Pennsylvania are facing economic challenges as inflation goes up and prices rise right along with it. People all across Pennsylvania are hurting, but we have the money to help, and we need to spend it now,” said Gov. Wolf. “I am calling on the General Assembly to use Pennsylvania’s unspent American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help Pennsylvanians get back on their feet.”
In February, Gov. Wolf proposed his $1.7 billion action plan. Today, he continues to call on the legislature to take immediate action on the proposal to put money back in the pockets of Pennsylvanians and put the commonwealth on the path to prosperity.
The governor’s plan calls for $225 million to support small businesses across the commonwealth by recapitalizing the successful COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program.
The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program would provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by the pandemic. Among other things, businesses can use these grants to cover operating expenses and access technical assistance, including training and guidance to stabilize and relaunch their businesses. The program would prioritize women- and minority-owned businesses and rural communities.
In 2020, more than $192 million dollars in grants were distributed through this program to more than 10,000 small businesses all across Pennsylvania, more than half of which were historically disadvantaged small businesses. Recapitalizing the program now could help more than 11,000 small businesses and their communities.
In addition to support for small businesses, the governor’s plan calls for:
The PA Opportunity Program, $500 million
Pennsylvanians are resilient, yet many workers and families are still covering pandemic-related costs, stabilizing their budgets, and rebuilding their savings.
The PA Opportunity Program would provide money to workers and families to help cover costs related to childcare, education and workforce training, housing assistance or repair, transportation-related costs, and more – all leading to a better quality of life.
Increased Property Relief for Low-Income Renters & Homeowners, $204 million
To provide direct property tax relief to Pennsylvanians, Gov. Wolf wants to invest an additional $204 million into the existing Property Tax Rent Rebate program for a one-time bonus rebate to current program users. This investment would double existing rebates. An estimated 466,000 Pennsylvanians would receive an additional average rebate of $475.
Support for Pennsylvania’s Healthcare System, $325 million
This investment would recognize healthcare workers for their heroic dedication and hard work throughout the pandemic and give healthcare …….