There are questions tonight about $1.3 billion that went to the state budget. This is money that some thought would help businesses suffering during the pandemic.
This comes after the state provided more than $24 million to Erie County residents.
We went down to the Erie County Courthouse with reaction from local business owners about this latest issue.
Business owners we spoke to said that one billion dollars could help tremendously. These business owners added that more funding must be distributed or some businesses could close their doors for good.
The fight to defeat the pandemic and economic hardships lingers. Business owners are questioning what happened to a billion federal dollars that was expected to help with economic relief from the cares act funding.
“We have funds going back and there’s businesses out there that have not been funded. It’s horrible to me,” said Mary Plonski, Owner of Scooters.
Despite the state’s money move, Erie County Councilman Carl Anderson said that he believes some of the $1.3 billion dollars will still be distributed throughout the commonwealth.
Anderson expects the money to help areas including emergency relief and public health as well as direct relief programs.
“Into different agencies that will at some point I think some of that will filter into some of the counties,” said Carl Anderson, Erie County Councilman.
Some restaurant owners said that more funding is needed in order to defeat the pandemic and the economic hardships it’s bringing on.
“Governor Wolf talked about a relief package for the hospitality industry especially for bars and restaurants. We have to have that. We can’t survive,” said Plonski.
Councilman Anderson told us that he believes the county will receive an additional funding from the emergency management department which expects to help with relief for restaurant and bar owners.
The state provided more than $24 million to the Erie County residents.
The owner of Scooters said ultimately the minimal funding they received was enough to play catch up, but another round of funding could help get through the Winter months at 50% capacity.