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Ricketts opens second round of COVID-19 funding aid
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Ricketts opens second round of COVID-19 funding aid

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Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Monday a second round of coronavirus pandemic funding support that would make full use of the more than a billion dollars of federal assistance previously granted while targeting emerging needs.

Included in the new designation is additional funding for business stabilization funding.

Among newly designated targets are hospital staffing and support for convention and event centers.

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Restaurants, bars and hotels are eligible for a second round of assistance.

Ricketts said the state is trying to help "as many businesses as possible … and cover as many people as possible with the resources we have."

The action will also serve the purpose of pumping more money into the state's economy as it attempts to recover from the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Previous action designated $392 million in funding support for business recovery, including $230 million for small businesses and $100 million for livestock producers.

Among the new designations are a total of $11 million for the Food Bank of Lincoln and the Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha and $6 million for the Lincoln Children's Zoo, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff.

The new list includes up to $500,000 in grants to event centers and sports arenas.

Movie theaters can receive $10,000 in assistance per screen.

Application for assistance opens Wednesday and will close Nov. 13 with expenditure of the funding required by Dec. 30 under federal government provisions.

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"We have expended $591 million of the $1 billion," Ricketts said. "We have work to do to get these dollars out the door."

Responding to questions on other matters at a news conference, the governor said:

* The turnaround time on results of TestNebraska coronavirus testing has recently dropped to about 48 hours. The goals has been three days.

* Recent vandalization of campaign signs — he was specifically asked about reports of destruction of Trump for President signs — is "absolutely unacceptable" in a country where "we may have differing opinions" but need to live together.

Photos during the coronavirus:

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSdon


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