JAMESTOWN – New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul told members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Friday that helping businesses recover from government shutdowns from COVID-19 requires federal funds to the tune of $15 Billion.
Hochul spoke via Zoom with the Chamber and says state officials are trying to find new ways to boost the economy across the state.
The effort all stems on “whether Joe Biden is able to get in a major stimulus plan,” saying the state has asked the federal government for $15 Billion as part of the national $9 Trillion plan.
“It hinges on money from the federal government, getting us money as soon as possible,” Hochul said.
She cautioned that the government can wait no longer to get the economy up and running.
“We cannot wait any longer to supercharge our economy and get it going again,” Hochul said.
The newest challenge is getting a larger supply of COVID vaccine, as the state has used all of its initial supply.
Hochul says people can, once more rapid testing sites become available, get a test before going to dinner or a movie. She said an app can tell people that they have tested negative or had the vaccine “and that’s your ticket into places.”
Locally, the region is doing well in infection rates compared to the rest of the state, she said. As of Friday, the region’s infection rate was 6 percent.
“We are open, there are still some areas that are hot spots,” Hochul said. “Our Western New York Region now has a 6 percent infection rate. Our expectations have been tempered with reality. Our region is about 6 percent and our hospital capacity is doing well.”
She praised county health officials and local politicians for their efforts.