What the federal COVID bill will mean for Rochester businesses, consumers

Economy

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — President Trump’s signing of the sweeping COVID relief and federal spending package means a new round of direct payments and assistance to businesses.

Among the bill’s top components: a renewal of federal unemployment benefits, $600 stimulus payments, and reignited Paycheck Protection funds.

Unemployment benefits will extend through mid-March. Individuals making up to $75,000 per year will be eligible for the $600 payments, the Associated Press reports.

Over $280 billion will go toward the Paycheck Protection Program, which helps hard-hit businesses keep employees on the payroll.

MORE: House passes bill to increase stimulus checks to $2,000, sends measure to Senate

“We’ve been impacted quite a bit,” said Ron Ricotta, the CEO of manufacturing company CenturyMold, headquartered in the Rochester area.

Ricotta applied for PPP early on in the pandemic for assistance in keeping employees on board as sales took a severe hit. Fairport-based Omega, also led by Ricotta, employs 50 people and may be in play for the the new PPP loans, Ricotta told News 8.

“With nearly a third, closer to a quarter, of this new stimulus bill being allocated to refunding that PPP plan, that should help those small businesses,” said George Conboy with Monroe Avenue-based Brighton Securities.

Conboy, in an interview with News 8, explained the bill’s provisions and highlighted certain industries standing to benefit from the legislation.

“I think there are a lot of businesses that really need that, many small businesses, particularly businesses that rely on hospitality like I said, restaurants, bars, event spaces,” Conboy said.

“We clearly need to help business,” Ricotta added, “because business supports this country.”

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