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NYC is using Biden's stimulus to support taxi drivers, the homeless, and give artists $5,000 checks

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/7/2021 asheffey@businessinsider.com (Ayelet Sheffey)
a car driving on a city street: Curb © Curb Curb
  • NYC detailed plans to spend the $5.9 billion it received from Biden's American Rescue Plan.
  • Those plans include giving artists $5,000 checks, supporting the homeless, and funding taxi drivers.
  • States have been slow to distribute other elements of Biden's stimulus aid, like rental relief.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

New York City received more aid than any other city in the country from President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan. It plans to allocate those stimulus funds to a range of areas, including giving some lucky artists $5,000 and working to end homelessness.

Last week, NYC released a 70-page report detailing its plans to use the $5.9 billion in stimulus funds it received from Biden. Those plans include a program that provides $5,000 grants to 1,800 artists who suffered financially during the pandemic, a $65 million relief fund for taxi medallion owners, and $125 million to support homeless people in the city, among other things.

The report noted that these measures are "just the beginning," and the city's top priority remains getting every resident vaccinated for COVID-19, and the detailed plans only include those that are funded from Biden's stimulus.

"It is not intended to serve as a comprehensive report on the City's recovery efforts," the report said. "The City's decisions to invest these funds now will help keep New Yorkers safe, restart the economy, rebuild the tax base, increase equity, and enable greater economic growth in future years."

Other plans included $1.5 billion to increase employment and support small businesses, and $52.5 million to bring NYC's tourism back to pre-pandemic levels.

Insider reported in March that after Biden signed his stimulus plan into law, of the $350 billion in state and local aid, $22.5 billion of it was divided evenly between all states and the District of Columbia, and the remaining funds were allocated based on unemployment numbers. That meant that New York, along with California and Texas, were on top of the list for that aid.

But since states received stimulus aid, a number of them have been slow to actually get the aid to residents who need it. For example, Insider reported in July that while Biden set aside $50 billion to give to renters facing eviction during the pandemic, only 4% of that aid had gone out because the distribution of that aid was under the control of the states. $8.5 billion for medical care in rural areas also has yet to be spent as the Delta variant surges and COVID-19 cases rise.

NYC plans to allocated $1.45 billion extend its vaccination campaign and improve testing for the virus.

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