U.S. Rep Josh Gottheimer joined local small business and restaurant owners this week to unveil federal dollars clawed back from the new COVID-19 relief package.
The bill, which has now been signed into law, includes federal dollars for every county and local government in the Fifth District, new relief for restaurants and businesses, investments in broadband and infrastructure improvements, direct checks for adults and children, and resources to safely reopen schools — all to help local economies and communities reopen and recover.
“A year ago, we were literally in the eye of the COVID-19 storm,” Gottheimer said. “Fast forward, the counties that make up the Fifth District have now had 158,000 total COVID-19 cases, and we’ve lost 4,891 souls, including too many of our moms and dads, brothers and sisters, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Our small businesses, including so many of our restaurants, have been devastated. Nearly a third of them have shuttered their doors. Schools opened and closed — our children falling further behind.
“Clawing back these federal COVID-19 relief dollars is a win for our communities, for our families, for our small businesses, and, most importantly, for our health,” the congressman added. “It will help us get to the other side of this pandemic. I believe we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, because we all know this hasn’t been an easy time for our country or for our state.
“We’re clawing back millions of dollars to the Fifth District to help every single county and town government, get vaccines into more arms, ring critical dollars to our schools and to those who’ve lost their jobs or need help with child care, Gottheimer said. “It will also inject essential investment into our communities, to help pay for cops, firefighters, and EMTs, and invest in local infrastructure, including to help boost broadband and help improve our old pipes and water infrastructure. It will also help lower health care premiums for those struggling during the pandemic. And every family who makes less than $160,000 dollars, will get a check sent to them, representing an enormous tax cut for middle class families.”