Stimulus dollars on their way, officials say - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stimulus dollars on their way, officials say

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The economic recovery plan was first announced back in February. Some of the money comes to us automatically, but state and local governments, as well as ordinary citizens, have to apply to get their hands on other money.

Congressman Steve Cohen says hundreds of millions of economic recovery dollars are headed to Memphis and Shelby County.

"Whether it's police, whether it's mass transit, whether it's weatherization programs," he said.

Cohen says $93 million will go to Memphis and Shelby County schools, in addition to money for 2,500 city summer youth jobs.

"We have, in this community, $4.5 million that will come to the city for summer jobs for youth," Memphis Legislative Liaison TaJaun Stout-Mitchell said.

While some money automatically comes to the area, Stout-Mitchell says local governments and you are responsible for applying to get other monies.

"There are some competitive grants," she said. "The competitive grants, some of the announcements have been made.  We have contacted every department, division leader here in the city of Memphis."

And here's just some of what should be coming to you:

  • Small businesses are entitled to tax relief on capital investments.
  • Post-secondary students can get Pell grants.
  • If you're unemployed, the stimulus pays for 65% of your Cobra health insurance.
  • Senior citizens should get a $250 bonus check.

Stout-Mitchell says the number one priority is to stimulate jobs.

"If we are engaging in business transactions, it will help stabilize the job market," she said.

"There are several other steps that still need to be taken," Cohen said. "But we're going to come out of this economic recession.  America is going to be the leader of the 21st century and we're going to have better days ahead."

Stout-Mitchell said the city is preparing a website to help citizens track and use stimulus money.

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