U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer promoted the American Rescue Act and the “Save Our Stages” provision at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown on Monday.
Schumer, joined by City and County officials as well officials from the Chamber of Commerce and Child Care Council, said that help is on the way,
“It’s the largest piece of legislation to affect so many people at a time of need since the Great Depression. and it’s probably just largest without looking at any other time or horizon. It’s the most significant piece of legislation to help the middle class and people struggling to get to the middle class since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.”
New York State will receive 100-billion-dollars from the American Rescue Act, with the City of Jamestown receiving nearly 30-million-dollars of that funding.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city is formulating a plan on how to use that money,
“The money can be used for needed capital, replacing aging infrastructure adn it is our hope that we will be able to create a city broadband network, ensuring every home and business in Jamestown has a low-cost, high speed internet and a free lifeline connection to every resident.”
Schumer also said entertainment venues can begin to access financial help from the 1-point-25 billion dollars “Save our Stages” provision through the Small Business Administration starting Thursday. Venues like the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts and the National Comedy Center can apply for 6-month grants to help with a variety of costs including payroll, utilities, and capital expenditures. Schumer said the program is good to do for several reasons,
“One, obviously, the economic impact this comedy museum has is one of the greatest impacts on this county that we know. Second, all the employees who work here – It’s been very hard for these institutions to keep these employees. Third, it adds something extra to the life of a community.”
National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson said live performance venues receiving this support are critical to the art form of comedy,
“Now, if you’re one of many Americans who may have never been to a comedy club, and many American haven’t, consider that the notion that the disappearance of live performance venues and clubs won’t affect the quality of the sitcoms you’re watching on television and the films that you go to see is like thinking eliminating training facilities wouldn’t impact the quality of professional sports. The clubs and live performance venues are absolutely integral to this art form.”
The Save Our Stages provision includes a critical fix that allows venues to access a P-P-P loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, deducting the P-P-P loan amount from the grant amount. Previously, a venue had to choose between getting a P-P-P loan or a Save Our Stages grant.
Schumer also detailed how the American Rescue Act expands the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit which includes direct payments of 46-million-dollars for 58-thousand households in Chautauqua County,
The Child Tax Credit will be made fully refundable and increases the credit amount from 2-thousand dollars to 3-thousand-dollars per child age 6 to 17, and 36-hundred-dollars per child below the age of 6.