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State getting money to more unemployed Vermonters

(WCAX)
Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 3:50 PM EDT
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The state continues to make headway on getting money to tens of thousands of Vermonters who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Gov. Phil Scott says the labor department issued 46,000 unemployment payments in the last couple of days on top of the 8,300 advance checks to people with unresolved claims. That's a total of $52 million paid out so far this week.

Help for small businesses and independent contractors through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program is still in the works. Information on how to apply was to be released by the end of Wednesday.

With so many people not earning a paycheck and so many businesses closed, Vermont's tax collections are expected to take a big hit over the next few months. The governor says it's too early to say what kind of budget cuts will be needed, but he indicated he would not favor increasing taxes.

"We'll do what we can to live within our means and I think that's important. Raising taxes and putting a burden back on Vermonters who are already suffering, I'm not sure if that's the answer either," said Scott, R-Vermont.

The governor says a lot will depend on how much relief the federal government provides to states and how quickly the economy restarts.

The Commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation says Vermont did well in getting money for small businesses.

He calls the rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program bumpy, but that Vermont secured more than $1 billion for nearly 7,000 businesses.

We're told that puts Vermont third in the country on a per capita basis on the total loans secured.

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