NY/PA updates

Vaccine pilot program Pike, SNAP recipients get increased benefits

What's new in the Upper Delaware region January 21-27

Posted 1/20/21

Pike develops vaccine pilot program

PIKE COUNTY, PA — Pike County’s Emergency Management Agency and Board of Commissioners are continuing to work with state and local partners to …

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NY/PA updates

Vaccine pilot program Pike, SNAP recipients get increased benefits

What's new in the Upper Delaware region January 21-27

Posted

Pike develops vaccine pilot program

PIKE COUNTY, PA — Pike County’s Emergency Management Agency and Board of Commissioners are continuing to work with state and local partners to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine is administered to all county residents included within Phase 1a of the State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan.

 To expedite this goal, the commissioners convened a January 15 meeting of partners including the PA Department of Health; and regional emergency management, health care and safety officials to develop a pilot program that can become a model for mass vaccine distribution within rural counties that do not have a hospital.

As this model is implemented to complete vaccination of those within Phase 1a, it can also be utilized to accommodate those within Phase 1b, which is a much larger segment of the population (see page 3). 

For the latest updates on vaccinations in Pike County, visit www.pikepa.org and click on the vaccine link under the COVID-19 heading.

Small business COVID relief in PA

HARRISBURG, PA — Small business owners who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for assistance with their utility bills. This new, temporary program allows eligible small businesses to enter into arrangements with their utilities to catch up on past-due amounts and maintain essential service.

“Affected small business owners can enter into payment arrangements under new rules established by the Public Utility Commission,” said John Evans, Pennsylvania’s Small Business Advocate. “These customers can pay back past-due amounts over a period of no less than eighteen months, which gives them a better chance of staying in business until the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic.”

Despite the various types of federal and state economic assistance programs enacted since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the amount of utility customer debt has increased significantly in Pennsylvania.

SBA reopens PPP portal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, has reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for first and second draw applications.

First-draw PPP loans are for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. Second-draw PPP loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less that previously received a first-draw PPP loan and will use or have used the full amount only for authorized uses, and that can demonstrate at least a 25-percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a second-draw PPP loan is $2 million. 

Updated PPP lender forms, guidance and resources are available at www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.

Representative requests return of criminal history plaques

HARRISBURG, PA —  Since 2014, plaques that noted the criminal convictions of former Speakers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives hung under their official portraits in the state Capitol. The plaques were removed earlier this year, and state Rep. Aaron Bernstine (PA-10) recently sent a letter to current House Speaker Bryan Cutler requesting they be rehung.

The plaques had been hung under the portraits of John Perzel, Herbert Fineman and Bill DeWeese.

“Criminal convictions that occurred while these politicians served the taxpayers should not be hidden from the public. Good or bad, visitors to the Capitol should have the opportunity to be educated on the full history of their government,” Bernstine said. “Sadly, Pennsylvania has a deep history of bipartisan corruption, and the plaques are an appropriate way to inform visitors to the Capitol about some of those most recent instances.”

Route 17 gets boost

GOSHEN, NY—The Orange County Partnership has announced that the efforts by many businesses, economic development and political leaders in the region to expand Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties got a major boost from soon-to-be U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.

Schumer has revealed that he recently held a virtual meeting with incoming U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, and urged him to prioritize federal infrastructure funding toward major construction projects, including the estimated $500-million expansion of Route 17 from Orange County to Sullivan County. Schumer has been advocating for an expanded Route 17 for more than 15 years. 

Many key business and economic development leaders in the Hudson Valley region view the expansion of Route 17 as critical to the area’s future economy. In August 2018, the advocacy group 17-Forward-86 was established to support the widening of Route 17. The coalition comprises more than 200 members from many industries.

SNAP recipients get increased benefits

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance has announced that New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive a 15 percent increase to their monthly food benefits for January through June. In addition, all households will receive the maximum monthly benefit for January under the emergency food assistance that has been issued since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

For January, SNAP recipients will receive the additional 15 percent as a separate issuance that will be distributed starting in mid-January and continue through the end of the month. Additionally, emergency assistance will be issued to any SNAP household that does not ordinarily receive the maximum allowable benefit per month, which will be $234 for an individual and $782 for a family of four over the next six months. The emergency assistance supplement will be distributed along with the additional 15 percent for those who are eligible. About half of all households receiving SNAP in New York will receive the emergency benefits for January.

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