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Gillibrand to make stop in Dunkirk on Monday

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is coming to the county on Monday.

Gillibrand is expected to be at the Dunkirk Boardwalk Market during the afternoon to call for legislation to support small- and mid-sized businesses that are struggling to recover after a summer of limited operations due to the coronavirus crisis. The bipartisan Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-Twenty (RESTART) Act would create a new loan program to fund six months of employer and operating expenses for businesses that have lost substantial revenue and have been unable to access a lifeline through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

As coronavirus cases rise in Chautauqua County, hospitality and tourism face growing uncertainty to maintain already restricted operations. Many of the small businesses in the Dunkirk Boardwalk Market rely on seasonal tourism and have lost significant revenue due to summer closures. While the PPP was intended to help small- and mid-sized businesses weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 shutdowns, many have slipped through the cracks and are struggling to maintain operations and pay their employees. Restaurants and hospitality, theaters, and live events, in particular have been largely unable to access PPP benefits despite unprecedented revenue losses since March.

Gillibrand will be with Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and Todd Tranum, president and CEO of the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce, to call for the RESTART Act in the next coronavirus relief package.

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