ALBANY, NY (WROC) – Governor Kathy Hochul on Monday, November 8, announced a $ 450 stimulus package aimed at revitalizing New York’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the ongoing COVID pandemic.
The recovery package, which coincided with the reopening of international borders on Monday, will provide $ 100 million in one-time payments to support hardest-hit tourism workers, $ 100 million in grants to encourage tourism employers to rehire staff, $ 25 million to attract convention centers and events hoteliers, an additional $ 25 million for global and national marketing efforts, and more, according to officials in the governor’s office.
âOur tourism industry represents the essence of what sets New York apart from the rest. New York cannot come back from this pandemic unless our tourism industry and its workers return, âGovernor Hochul said. âOur $ 450 million national stimulus package is not only helping workers in the tourism industry get back on their feet, but will also help small businesses and sites reopen. Our message to the world is clear: New York is coming back and we welcome you with open arms. “
The governor made the announcement on Monday, November 8 at the Museum of Natural History, along with representatives from I LOVE NY, NY Forever, tourism and business groups, and labor groups representing workers in the tourism industry. Officials in the governor’s office say the package represents a “multi-faceted approach to revitalizing the industry through worker assistance, investments in small businesses, and consumer-focused marketing across the country and the world. world”.
State officials say the economic impact of COVID on New York’s tourism industry has been severe, adding that in 2019, the tourism industry supported one of 10 jobs and generated more than $ 100 billion in economic impact.
International visits last year were down 86% from 2019 due to the pandemic, according to the governor’s office, and national visits were down 37%. In total, officials say the decline in tourism has resulted in an almost 55% loss in direct spending and an almost 50% drop in economic impact.
According to the governor, the new tourism package will support the tourism and hospitality sector, which was the state’s third largest industry before the pandemic, and will provide incentives to rehire workers to boost demand for tourism and attractions.
From the governor’s office
$ 100 million tourism workers stimulus fund
The first part of this package supports New Yorkers in the hardest hit tourism and hospitality sectors who were on extended federal unemployment insurance last week before those benefits ended and have yet to see their benefits. income fully recover. The New York State Department of Labor will make one-time payments of $ 2,750 to 36,000 skilled workers in tourism industries. Eligible New Yorkers will be contacted directly by text or email.
$ 100 Million Tourism Return to Work Grant Program
The second component of this package is designed to encourage tourism businesses that have suffered job and income losses to rehire workers, while providing financial relief. Eligible tourism businesses will be eligible for grants of up to $ 5,000 per new net full-time employee, or $ 2,500 per new net part-time employee, hired to offset their labor costs. To receive the full benefit, employers will need to maintain employment increases for six months. Job increases will be based on total employment rather than specific individual employees, and companies that can demonstrate the greatest workforce losses from COVID will be a priority. More information, including registration for program-related email alerts, is available at New York State website.
$ 25 million Meet in New York grant program
This program focuses on places and events to generate and support new business-oriented trips. This holistic approach to sightseeing recognizes the spending habits of business and convention travelers for overnight stays, food and activities. The Meet in New York program will provide grants to help convention centers and conference spaces bring more events, travel expenses and jobs to New York State. Eligible sites and their partner hotels for events may offer meeting planners discounts on booking fees or blocks of rooms to attract customers, with grants reimbursing a portion of these discounts. You will find more information on eligible companies and events New York State website.
$ 25 Million I LOVE NY Global Marketing Campaign
This global consumer tourism campaign is re-inviting national and international visitors, allowing I LOVE NY to expand its current marketing efforts to other national and international markets. The campaign will include broadcast and digital elements that promote New York State as the world’s leading travel destination, where visitors are encouraged to be a part of it and find what they love.
$ 200 million business program launched just before or during the pandemic
To strengthen New York State’s commitment to small business, Governor Hochul announced his intention to introduce legislation in January 2022 at the start of the New York State Legislative Session to create a program of $ 200 million designed to support businesses launched just before or during the pandemic. This forward-looking initiative would use existing funding in the state’s $ 800 million COVID Small Business Takeover Grant program to support start-ups that were not otherwise eligible for relief through state programs. and existing federal governments to ensure greater inclusiveness among small and micro-enterprises.
The Small Business Pandemic Recovery Grants Program has been very successful so far, with over $ 325 million awarded to support nearly 20,000 small and micro businesses in New York State . Over 19,000 beneficiaries were businesses with ten or fewer employees, 83% of beneficiaries were minority or women-owned businesses, and the average grant funded was almost $ 17,000. This legislation will represent an extension of the program to include small and micro businesses that were previously not eligible for pandemic relief through state and federal programs.