Gov. Northam announces budget proposal for federal COVID-19 relief funding

Posted at 8:38 AM, Jul 12, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam announced a budget proposal with federal American Rescue Plan funding Monday.

His office sent a press release Monday morning saying the announcement would be made at 2 p.m., in Virginia Beach.

Northam announced that his first budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding invests a total of $353 million to boost recovery among Virginia’s small businesses and industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, and Delegates Kelly Convirs-Fowler, Nancy Guy, and Alex Askew joined Northam for the announcement at Neptune’s Park.

Northam proposed $250 million to invest in the Rebuild VA economic recovery fund, $50 million for Virginia Tourism Corporation initiatives, and $53 million for other small business including the Industrial Revitalization Fund and Virginia Main Street program.

“Virginia is roaring back stronger than we could have imagined one year ago, but small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they need additional support to get back on their feet,” said Governor Northam. “With the American Rescue Plan, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild from the impacts of the pandemic, revitalize our communities, and invest in our shared prosperity. That’s why I am proposing $353 million to bolster the Commonwealth’s successful recovery initiatives that target our hard-hit tourism and hospitality sectors, main streets, small businesses, and nonprofits.”

From March 2020 to April 2021, Northam says Virginia lost about $14.5 billion in total tourism spending. He is now proposing a $50 million investment to help the tourism industry recover and restore.

Northam's investment into the Industrial Revitalization Fund and Virginia Main Street program will be focused on providing support for minority and immigrant communities, as well as women and minority-owned businesses.

“This is another example of our work to ensure Virginia’s small businesses have the support they need,” said Speaker Filler-Corn. “As we emerge from COVID-19, these continued investments will help working families and put millions back into our quickly-recovering economy.”

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