Congress is now highly unlikely to come up with another stimulus check. So, many local authorities have taken the matter into their own hands and are sending stimulus payments to groups who need the help the most. Now, New York City is planning to give $5,000 in assistance. However, the NYC coronavirus stimulus check will go only to artists, taxi drivers and the homeless.
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New York City is planning to spend about $6 billion it got from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide assistance to a few specific groups, including artists, taxi drivers and the homeless. Also, the authorities would use the funds to support ongoing vaccination efforts.
Last week, the authorities outlined a 70-page plan on how it plans to use the federal funds. New York City received the highest emergency coronavirus aid than any other metro area in the U.S.
As per the plan, the $5,000 checks will go to about 1,800 local artists who have suffered financially during the pandemic. These payments, called New York City Artist Corps grants, will need to be fully distributed by October.
Additionally, the plan talks of setting aside $65 million for the struggling taxicab industry, which mostly includes immigrants and people of color. This industry is facing heavy competition from app-based players, such as Lyft and Uber. The aid would allow the taxi owners to pay their debts and get back to their work.
“Relief payments are intended to help individual medallion owners achieve a more sustainable level of medallion debt, stabilize their financial situation, and get vehicles back in service so more taxis are available to the riding public,” the plan says.
Moreover, NYC could also set aside more than $125 million to support the homeless population. Such payments would also complement the efforts from the local authorities to reduce street homelessness by half.
What Else Does NYC Plan To Spend The Money On?
Apart from the above three primary uses, the plan also includes $1.5 billion in funding aimed at boosting employment, as well as supporting small businesses. The authorities have plans to offer $172 million in financial aid to businesses with less than 100 employees. Such businesses account for 98% of all local businesses.
"Small businesses are the backbone of New York City's neighborhoods, and it is vital that they thrive to ensure an equitable recovery," the report says.
Some eligible establishments would receive grants or loans. Others will be eligible for legal services that will help them to modify or end commercial leases.
Additionally, over $50 million has been set aside to restore the city’s tourism back to pre-pandemic levels. Another $330 million is allocated toward the Test & Trace initiative, which is led by NYC Health + Hospitals. Under this initiative, a team of contract tracers identify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and provide them with all needed resources to self-isolate.