Congressman Hears Delaware County Business Concerns Amidst COVID-19
We Must Have Accurate Information, Chamber Rep Says
DELHI - In a March 20 tele-town hall, Congressman Antonio Delgado, representing New York’s 19th Congressional District which includes Delaware County, detailed steps taken at the federal level to address the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, which has shut down Delaware County, and New York state, to all but essential services.
Bipartisan legislation has been passed by Congress to address the impacts of the public health crisis which includes a bill containing an $8.3 billion stimulus package focused on developing a vaccine, expansion of telemedicine for senior citizens and funding for small businesses which would enable the Small Business Administration to make $7 billion in low interest loans to small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus.
Due to the national federal disaster declaration regarding the virus, Delgado said, small business disaster loans, up to $2 million, are now available to small businesses, which will allow businesses to get back on their feet. The bill would suspend loan payments for six months on all qualified new and existing Small Business Administration loans — including principal, interest, and fees.
Panelists from throughout the District participated in the town hall meeting, including Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan who is encouraging residents to support small business - the backbone of the economy - by shopping online, if possible. “We’re all on this together,” Ryan said.
New York State Farm Bureau Vice President Eric Ooms praised Delgado for his leadership during the public health crises reminding the public that farmers are a vital part of the economy. Milk is flowing, animals are fed, and products continue to enter the food chain, Ooms said. “Keeping the economy rolling is good for every,” he said.
“We export a lot of food from America,” Ooms said. “Which means at times like these we should be in pretty good shape.”
Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci applauded Delgado’s commitment to small business, but indicated that many Delaware County businesses are not in a position to take on additional debt and loans. Keeping people working is critical, Pucci said.
Ultimately, Pucci continued, “The bottom line is we need to make sure we are putting out good, accurate and correct information based in reality - not based on fear and conjecture.” Pucci called on local and state officials to be held to the same standard in delivering information.
The economy must be turned back on, Delgado said, and to do that, businesses need to get back up and running. “We have to make sure we give you the revenue you need to make this happen,” Delgado said. Unity is critical to navigate this crisis as effectively as possible, Delgado said.