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Reed Meeting Local Elected, Health Care Officials

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, is meeting with local elected officials, health care personnel and first responders to ensure the lines of communication are open during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday during a conference call with regional media, Reed said he is communicating with people throughout New York’s 23rd Congressional District, as well as with those still in Washington, D.C.

“I’m reaching out to folks at all spectrum of government, from the local to the top, and with public health officials in particular,” Reed said. “I’m meeting with folks in their offices and meeting with local officials. I’m meeting with police and fire chiefs.”

Reed said the U.S. House of Representatives passed a coronavirus-related bill during the weekend that was “fine-tuned” Monday that the U.S. Senate should be approving Tuesday, which should be signed into law by Tuesday night.

He said the bill deals with getting people tested for the coronavirus for free, attends to food security and paid time off and unemployment benefits for workers who are laid off.

Reed said the bill will provide immediate access to paid time off and helping employers pay their employees.

“We’re very sensitive to the businesses. A lot of small businesses,” he said. “This is what the President (Donald Trump) did with the Small Business Administration. This will continue to allow small businesses and self-employed to stay in business.”

The Small Business Administration announced yesterday there is coronavirus disaster relief lending available to small business.

The Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. Also, there will be economic injury disaster loan assistance to make loans available to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the coronavirus. Small Business Administration’s economic injury disaster loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Reed said federal government officials are already starting to work on an additional bill worth $850 billion to help with coronavirus-related issues. The next bill will continue the assistance already passed by the House when it comes to food distribution at local schools. He said the bill passed by the house offers immediate relief and the next bill will provide longer term relief, if needed.

“When the decision was made to close schools, we had to be in position to take care of the nutritional need of kids,” Reed said.

In Chautauqua County, Reed said he met Tuesday with state, county, local and health care officials. He is glad to report that people are coming together to work together and our listening to the guidelines being issued.

“That is all positive. I also would say we are getting ahead of things,” Reed said.

The Congressman said he has heard from health care officials locally that capacity at hospitals and medical facilities is strong and they are prepared. He said the lines of communication are opened in case there is a shortage of medical equipment like medical ventilators and respirators.

Reed said during the next two weeks a wealth of information will be received that will help officials in the future.

“Two weeks from now we will have a much better lay of the land,” he said. “I’m encouraging folks to remain calm, take a deep breath as we will get through this together. I have faith in the American People and the people in the 23rd Congressional District.”

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