SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield City Councilors are calling on Mayor Domenic Sarno and the city’s finance team to resolve what they call ‘inequities’ that have resulted in the initial awards of the American Rescue Plan funds.
According to a release sent to 22News: Councilors Hurst, Whitfield, and Govan believe that there were significant racial, gender and geographical gaps in the ARPA award amounts distributed.
The councilors believe that the administration has fallen short when it comes to the funds that businesses received and that the funds were not shared fairly.
“We have about 47 million dollars left that hasn’t been encumbered, meaning it hasn’t been committed to any program and it hasn’t been spent yet. We need to ensure that the rest of the funds we have available do go to those most disproportionately impacted by COVID,” said Springfield City Councilor Tracye Whitfield.
Data shows that white small businesses were awarded 5 times more than Black small businesses and 6 times more than Hispanic, Women, and Veteran owned businesses.