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White House highlights Idaho as leader in reopening plans, distribution of relief funds

BOISE - The White House is highlighting Idaho as a leader among states for their plans to safely and responsibly reopen the economy and for how we are allocating federal relief funds.

"In recent media events and during meetings with state leaders, President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and White House officials have called out Idaho as an example for other states to follow in our staged approach to reopening, how we are prioritizing direct assistance to small businesses in our use of federal relief funds, and our level of transparency in reporting use of the funds," Governor Brad Little said.

"We are encouraged to see so many states embracing the phased approach to reopening their economies that's contemplated in our guidelines for Opening Up America Again. Governor Brad Little of Idaho released 'Rebound Idaho'…that will consist of four phases and require specific criteria that Idaho and businesses need to meet to begin to reopen," Vice President Mike Pence said recently.

Little approved his Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee's recommendations for allocation of funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The full breakdown is available at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/coronavirus-financial-advisory-committee/.

Two-thirds of the federal funds that have been allocated so far in Idaho - more than $300 million - will go directly to small business in the form of cash grants and cash for personal protective equipment to support workers and customers. No other state is putting up more money to directly support small business.

The majority of the remaining amount has been allocated to local governments and tribal governments throughout Idaho.

Idaho received $1.25 billion in April as part of the CARES Act. Approximately 36-percent of the funds have been allocated so far, and the rest remains in a state account to cover any extraordinary and unanticipated expenses that may arise.

All expenditures of the CARES Act funds will be made available at Transparent.Idaho.Gov, State Controller Brandon Woolf's website that shows Idaho citizens how taxpayer dollars are being spent.

"Our priority is to directly support small businesses as much as possible as we prudently and judiciously expend these taxpayer dollars. I want to thank President Trump, our congressional delegation, and our champion of transparency State Controller Brandon Woolf, for their support," Little said.

Small businesses can begin applying for the Idaho Rebound cash grants Monday. Information on how to apply is at https://rebound.idaho.gov/idaho-rebound-cash-grants-for-small-businesses/.

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