AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Senate Majority Leader and New York Senator Chuck Schumer was joined by Congressman Paul Tonko on Tuesday to urge restaurants to seek help through the American Rescue Plan. They held a press conference at Russo’s Grill in Amsterdam.

Watch the full press conference on the player above.

Sen. Schumer is calling for restaurants in the Capital Region to apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for funds immediately, to help them stay open. Schumer says he would like New York businesses to be first in line since the state was impacted heavily by the pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic, the NYS Restaurants Association estimates that 80% of workers in the restaurant and bar industry were out of work and 1 in every 6 restaurants closed.

Details of the Plan:

  • Grant Maximum – $10 million per restaurant group, $5 million per individual restaurant
  • Eligible Expenses – Payroll and benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies including protective equipment and cleaning materials, food, operational expenses, covered supplier costs as defined by the SBA under the PPP program, sick leave, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Administrator
  • Covered Period – Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21 and the Administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant
  • Set-Asides – $5 billion of the $28.6 billion total is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019 for the first 60 days of the program. During the initial 21-day period, the administrator will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women or Veterans or are socially and economically disadvantaged businesses

Capital Region Highlights:

  • Approximately $1.1 billion in direct payments for more than an estimated 441,000 households in the Capital Region. Nearly an estimated 23,000 households in Montgomery County will receive approximately $57 million and nearly an estimated 25,000 households in Fulton County will receive approximately $61 million
  • More than $1.95 million going in state and local aid towards the city of Amsterdam and over $9.55 million going directly to Montgomery County
  • More than $1.6 million going to Gloversville and $900,000 to Johnstown and $10.3 million going directly to Fulton County
  • More than $5.27 million to Fulton-Montgomery Community College
  • Over $32,000 for Fulton County Airport

Other Highlights:

  • Medicaid FMAP Increase: $2.7 Billion
  • Amtrak Relief: $1.7 Billion
  • Airline Payroll Support Program Enhancement: $15 Billion
  • Child Care and Help for NY Families: $5.3 Billion
  • Enhanced Unemployment Benefits for NYers: $21.7 Billion
  • New COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing: $4 Billion
  • Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief: $57.8 Billion
  • Broadband Connectivity: $632 Million

Sen. Schumer was joined by Rep. Paul Tonko, Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti, Bob Purtell of the Montgomery County Legislature, Mike Russo the owner of Russo’s Grill,  Lou Lanzi the owner of Lorenzo’s Southside restaurant; and Markus Guillen of Mundo’s Café.