The $2.2 trillion emergency legislation passed by Congress last week very likely won’t be nearly enough to keep Americans employed and the economy afloat as the coronavirus pandemic steamrolls the country.
“I suspect we’ll be back to either extend provisions of this or come up with additional programs,” Rep. Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit) told around 400 business owners and nonprofit leaders on Wednesday afternoon during a webinar sponsored by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
Morelle also called on members of the business community to submit ideas or concerns with regard to what is missing from current relief packages passed by Congress.
“This really was like trying to move tectonic plates so we know there will be disparities and inequities,” Morelle said. “That’s where we really want you to let us know. We know we clearly will have gaps, there clearly will be things we didn’t think of.”
Morelle said to contact his office via email with suggestions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Paycheck protection program loans through the small Business Administration become available starting Friday. Under the program, 100 percent of payroll, utility, rent and debt service expenses will be forgiven for eight weeks if a small business owner maintains the current workforce level.
Morelle said he’s not just concerned about how the crisis is impacting the economy, but also with the mental toll it is taking on his constituents in New York’s 25th Congressional District.
“We won’t see the apex of this in Rochester until the middle or end of May, so this is going to be as much of an emotional and mental challenge as anything else,” he said.