State Government

Pandemic aid to businesses $4.4 million over – and may need to be paid back

by Guy Page

The Vermont state agency that disbursed pandemic aid to Vermont businesses may have overcompensated losses by $4.4 million. And that money may need to be paid back, Auditor Doug Hoffer said in a Sept. 21 report.

Under the federal Emergency Recovery Act (ERG), the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) assessed businesses’ eligibility based on information submitted in applications and dispersed approximately $117 million to 2,278 businesses through the ERG program, Hoffer said.

Most troubling to me is the program design flaw that ACCD should have addressed, but did not, once alerted to it by the State’s COVID-19 Financial Office in September 2020,” Hoffer said.

The auditor sayd the initial Round 1.0 ERG award application required businesses to show a 75 or 50 percent revenue loss due to COVID-19 for just one month. This qualified businesses for award amounts that in some cases exceeded the COVID-19 related revenue losses the businesses reported in ACCD’s application system. Specifically, ACCD paid 401 businesses $4.4 million more than the one month of revenue losses reported by these businesses in Round 1.0.

“Award amounts above a business’ revenue loss may have to be repaid by Vermont taxpayers,” Hoffer warned.

Click here to read the entire report.

Categories: State Government

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