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Sundquist’s Direction Of Helping Arts, Cultural Institutions Is The Right Way To Go

Mayor Eddie Sundquist made a good suggestion last week regarding unspent events money Jamestown had received as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

State officials have given the city the go-ahead to reprogram the DRI event programming money into a fund similar to CARES Act funding to help businesses.

Sundquist suggested the money be used to help arts and cultural institutions in the city that have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve received call after call from different organizations that haven’t qualified for (Paycheck Protection Program) loans,” he said. “We could utilize some of the funding, after checking with the state, to use as a grant mechanism for those organizations.”

Sundquist’s direction is the right way to go. Arts institutions have been hurt badly by COVID-19 and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shutdowns. Places like the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Lucille Ball Little Theater and others will need additional help to provide programs once they are allowed to reopen.

And, since the programs were to provide a benefit to downtown businesses through additional foot traffic, the state money should also be available to help downtown businesses that haven’t been able to get other help or who need a little more help making ends meet until COVID-19 vaccines make it safe to frequent our arts providers again.

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