As the Minority Caucus representative on Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s COVID-19 Economic Advisory Council, I am committed to determining the best uses of federal American Rescue Plan funding, and am laser-focused on ensuring that residents, businesses and organizations receive the support they need to regain what they lost during the pandemic and the boost they need to build back stronger.
This year, Nassau County is poised to receive nearly $200 million in American Rescue Plan Act. Of that amount, Curran has proposed $100 million in direct payments to Nassau County homeowners and a $25 million investment in grants, loans and other timely assistance for small businesses.
The county’s executive’s approach, which requires legislative approval, is based upon the feedback we received through a survey conducted by the Nassau County Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council and Hofstra University.
Of the $25 million proposed for small business relief, Curran’s plan calls for dedicating approximately $10 million from those funds to launch the Boost Nassau Main Street Recovery Grant Program. Consistent with the approach used for the county’s successful Restaurant Recovery Grant program, applicants with 10 or fewer employees will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 through the Main Street program, while those with 11 to 50 employees can apply for up to $10,000.
Visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/boostnassau for more details.
Limited funds remain available for Restaurant Recovery Grants, which are open to full-service restaurants and banquet halls with catering staff, including those run by charitable and religious organizations.
Visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/restaurantrecovery for details and to apply.
In addition, the county plans to offer new stabilization loans to small businesses, including start-ups and minority- and women-owned business enterprises, which will enjoy longer payback periods and lower interest rates.
“Small businesses employ our neighbors, family and friends and are the heart of our vibrant downtown communities that need help,” Curran said in a recent interview. “We need to expand our efforts to support these businesses by providing direct assistance while also helping them take advantage of the programs available from federal and state sources as well.”
However, these funds are only as effective as our efforts to connect homeowners and small businesses with them. Nassau County has launched a resource website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/boostnassau and announced plans for a physical Boost Nassau Resource Center at Eisenhower Park to ensure residents and business owners will have every available resource—including rental assistance programs and support for nonprofits —at their fingertips. The Towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay will be offered office space to make it a comprehensive, user-friendly one-stop shop for residents, businesses and nonprofits.
And, as always, my legislative office staff is ready to assist. Please feel free to contact my office about this or any other topic at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 516-571-6211.
—Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton