By Adam Pagnucco.
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce has issued the following statement on the county’s pace of distributing federal COVID assistance.
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Statement on Montgomery County Executive’s Failure to Distribute $45.6M in Federal Relief
Tuesday’s Council briefing on the Coronavirus Relief Fund was deeply concerning. It was revealed that the County Executive has yet to spend $45.6 million of Federal Relief that was intended for immediate distribution to help our residents and businesses. The need for this funding is both dire and urgent. These communities are struggling at unprecedented levels during this public health emergency.
The County Council has established several programs to administer this relief funding for rent assistance, local businesses, child care, and more. Over the past six months our Chamber has been a supportive partner to the County to help the Council and the Executive by hosting many briefings for county business owners to learn about these programs and how to apply for relief. But there is growing concern expressed by both residents and business owners that their applications have either not been approved or they have not received a response to know the status of their applications.
The County Executive’s failure to distribute in a timely manner the CARES Act funding the County has already received severely inhibits our Chamber’s continued advocacy at the Federal level for additional county and state funds. Further, there is growing concern that the consequence of not distributing these funds as intended by December 31 means that the funds must be returned to the Federal government.
The strategy of waiting for the federal government to take further actions to provide future relief funding does not take into account the urgency for those in dire need of this relief NOW. The County Executive needs to lead our County by implementing emergency relief programs desperately needed by our residents and businesses during this crisis.
Our citizens and businesses can no longer wait. And the clock is ticking with the threat of losing this funding. MCCC implores the County Executive to end this delay immediately and distribute the $45.6 million.