The Common Council voted on November 24 to adopt legislation to move forward with using remaining federal CARES Act funding for a small business start-up fund, education assistance to parents of K-12 students, and help to provide Internet access and tablets to senior citizens.

The amended legislation, Council file #200978, sponsored by Alderwoman Chantia Lewis aims to address certain problems that people are currently facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So many people are now faced with lost jobs, children at home because schools and programs are all virtual, poor Internet connectivity and access, and other life-altering problems from COVID-19, and this legislation aims to help those people as soon as possible,” said Alderwoman Lewis.

The resolution seeks to use CARES Act funds to help small start-up businesses to assist them in purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), and to assist them in becoming COVID compliant under state mandates.

“We need to take care of our most vulnerable members always, but especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alderwoman Lewis. “I thank my colleagues for their support, as passing this resolution to utilize some of the city’s remaining CARES Act funding to assist Milwaukee residents will be immensely helpful as it will relieve some of the pressure and pain that COVID-19 has inflicted on our city and our nation.”

The funds could also go to parents and guardians who are responsible for making sure their children attend e-learning and also that they have all the technology they need to participate in their classes.

“This legislation provides real support to parents of a school age child (K-12) who lives in the City of Milwaukee, to help with tutoring and/or Internet access at home,” said Alderwoman Lewis.

A portion of the funding could also pay for pandemic EBT benefits for the 2020-2021 school year for children eligible for free and reduced price school meals through the National School Lunch Program.

“The (file) would also help provide Internet access and a tablet to those seniors who are without one. It’s important during this time of social distancing that we stay connected virtually and that includes our senior population,” Alderwoman Lewis added.

It is expected that City of Milwaukee residents will have the opportunity to apply for one of these programs in the coming weeks.