Suffolk County’s small businesses and local nonprofits are getting much needed funds following the economic blow from the pandemic. 

On March 30, Resolution 1199-2021 was adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature, allocating $71,268,670 from the American Rescue Plan to Suffolk County agencies. 

The American Rescue Plan is the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.

Suffolk County Legislator and Presiding Officer Rob Calarco celebrated the complete restoration of funding to Suffolk County contract agencies in Patchogue last week outside of The Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.

“This boost from Washington is critical to our county’s shared recovery efforts and will go a long way in supporting so many of our incredible nonprofit organizations who have continued to work hard despite enduring a tough year,” Calarco said. 

The federal government granted Suffolk County approximately $286 million for a span two years. The money can be used to respond to the public health emergency and subsequent economic fallout faced by small businesses and nonprofits.

Calarco was joined by Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri and local non-profit leaders to discuss the struggles these organizations have had due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout.

“When you go through the list you begin to understand the services provided by all of these agencies — they give back to the community,” Mayor Pontieri said.

The funding from the American Rescue plan will help pull these municipalities and nonprofit organizations out of this difficult time and give them the resources to continue providing programs and services for their communities.

“I’m standing here today with a number of our partners that are providing more programs for our community,” Calarco said. “Whether it’s youth programming or economic development programming or concerts or opportunities for young people to have a summer program to go to to keep them busy —  there’s so many important things going on.”

Some of these organizations include the Patchogue Historical Society, Patchogue Medford Hall of Fame and VFW Post 2913.

“I want to thank our legislator so much for making this happen,” said Victoria Berger, executive director of the Suffolk County Historical Society. “The arts have suffered so much through the pandemic, probably a little bit more than some of the other businesses, and it has been absolutely invaluable to have this funding restored —  we’re eternally grateful.”

Top: Suffolk County Legislator and Presiding Officer Rob Calarco addressing the community outside The Patchogue Theatre.