SCIOTO — As negotiations stall in Washington on additional COVID-19 relief money, local and state politicians have pleaded with Congress to pass another stimulus.
Gov. Mike DeWine said while vaccines are on the way, the health and economic threat is still very much alive as record-high cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been recorded in the state as of late.
“Many vital CARES Act programs have already run out, and more are set to expire before the end of the year. Ohio’s workers, families, small businesses and industries, health care professionals, schools and children are struggling,” said DeWine in a Dec. 7 press release, the package needed before the holiday recess. “Additional substantial aid is essential. Continued investment will not only allow us to dampen the economic fallout in Ohio and slow a potential recession in the coming years but ultimately, it will also help our citizens to return to normal when the pandemic ends.”
Ohio Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown also both want to see action from Congress, despite being on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
“Ohioans are hurting and our communities desperately need this relief now. We should vote immediately on this package – which puts money directly in the pockets of workers, expands Unemployment Insurance, protects against any COVID-19 related health care costs for all Ohioans, provides critical housing assistance and so much more,” said Brown in May, supporting the House-passed Heroes Act.
Portman, a Republican, does not support the legislation supported by Brown and other Democrats, citing concerns of the $3.5 trillion price tag and several included measures that do not relate to the coronavirus, instead of asking for funding to go telehealth and tax incentives for small businesses among several other requests.
“Frankly, this is work we should have been doing months ago,” said Portman before Congress this week. “But we’re here now, so let’s get it done. My hope is that we can end this year by recapturing that spirit of bipartisanship that was on display this March.”
That bipartisan measure he was referring to was the CARES Act, which passed to a vote of 96-0. That bill was not perfect, said Portman, and the next stimulus likely would have imperfections. Either or, he believes some assistance is needed.
“Let’s ensure that the people we represent get the targetted economic relief they desperately need in the coming months,” he said.
Such relief has arrived in Scioto County through city and county relief programs, which have gone to support local businesses, schools, and projects like the updates to the HVAC systems of county-owned buildings.
The Small Business Administration announced the findings of the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act, earlier this month, which provided nearly $18.5 billion to businesses throughout the state.
In the county, 12 businesses received a loan greater than $1 million for a grand total of $67.6 million. Most of that money received directly from the federal government went to Portsmouth businesses.
These are the companies that received the most in Portsmouth through the PPP loan, whose 354 recipients collected $49.95 million:
- Glockner Chevrolet: $3.74 million
- Osco Industries: $3.67 million
- Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Service: $3.63 million
- Scioto County Counseling Center: $3.37 million
- Wendschmidt WV: $2.06 million
- Shawnee Mental Health Center: $1.5 million
- Hill View Retirement Center: $1.38 million
- Appalachian Wood Floors: $1.12 million
- Jags, Inc.: $1.02 million
- Genesis Respiratory Services: $1.01 million
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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