Atlanta takes steps to provide coronavirus relief

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The City of Atlanta is taking steps to provide relief to individuals and businesses that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Effective immediately, the city is setting aside $7 million to provide emergency assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The total funds, which will come from the general fund uncommitted fund balance, may be used as follows: 

  • $1 million for emergency assistance to children’s food programs.
  • $1 million for emergency assistance to senior food programs.
  • $1 million for emergency assistance to homeless preparedness and response activities.
  • $1.5 million to support the city’s small business continuity.
  • $1 million for the emergency purchase of technology necessary to execute the City’s institution of full telework deployment for all non-essential employees and to support city-wide business continuity.
  • $1.5 million to assist the City’s partners in the financial industry to provide emergency assistance to employees and hourly wage earners of businesses engaged with the city of Atlanta whose incomes are adversely impacted.

The total funds may be transferred to assist with any of these efforts without specific limitation. 

“Our vote to ratify the mayor’s executive order is a critically important step forward for us as a city as we deal with this pandemic,” Council member Andrea Boone said. “These funds will go toward providing emergency assistance to children and seniors in our community, our homeless population and small businesses. It will also help ensure our City’s technology system for teleworking continues to work properly. This is a smart and needed response for the city of Atlanta.” 

The city council also approved a resolution introduced by council members Andre Dickens and Marci Collier Overstreet authorizing the city to provide assistance to employees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport who may experience a potential reduced hours of work and loss in wages.

Additional co-sponsors were council members Natalyn Archibong, Michael Julian Bond, Antonio Brown and Jennifer Ide. 

“The Mayor and I acted quickly to draft legislation that passed unanimously today suspending rent from March 1st through June 30th for airport concessionaires and car rentals so they may stay open and pay their employees while sales are low do to extremely reduced air travel,” council member Dickens said.