Instead of just reopening, NYC seems hell bent on keeping its workers and businesses on the Covid-stimulus government dole. The city is distributing a portion of its $5.9 billion in federal aid to cab drivers, artists and restaurants.
The city is one of the first to distribute aid from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, according to Bloomberg. Last week the city published a more than 70 page report laying out its plans for the funds.
Those plans include $2.27 billion for the city to replace lost revenue after the city shut down.
The report read: “New York City’s Recovery for All plan prioritizes vaccinating against COVID-19 to jump-start the recovery, using the City government to fight inequality, building a fairer economy, helping children recover emotionally and academically from the impact of the pandemic, strengthening community-based solutions to public safety, and fighting the climate crisis.”
$1.45 billion in funds will expand the state's healthcare system, which will make Covid vaccines more available and will expand testing sites.
Another portion of the cash will go to 1,800 grants of $5,000 each for artists and taxi medallion owners. It's also going toward a program that will encourage outdoor dining, that starts in 2023.
$1.51 billion will be used to "support small businesses", according to the report. We wonder if Bill de Blasio ever thought about supporting small businesses by actually allowing them to fully re-open, or if his plans are simply to paper over the entire NYC economy with printed paper.
Finally, the city put aside $52.5 million for its tourism industry, which makes up 376,800 jobs and suffered from a 67% decline in visitors to the state in 2020.