MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Monongalia County lawmaker is asking Gov. Jim Justice to use $25 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for supporting small businesses and bars in the county.
Delegate John Williams, D-Monongalia, said the request is because of the effects of the pandemic on the local economy, including fewer customers at businesses and a countywide closure of bars.
“I agree with measures that have been taken in mitigating transmission, and I do not write to oppose them,” Williams said. “I do write to you today, however, to ask that our uniquely affected businesses be indemnified in their time of greatest need.”
Williams’ letter on Tuesday came as bars in Monongalia County remain closed. Justice announced earlier this month that such businesses cannot operate following reports of West Virginia University students congregating at bars sans facial coverings.
Bars were previously closed between July 13 and Aug. 31.
Williams told MetroNews affiliate WAJR-AM the governor needs to consider the long-term impact of the pandemic.
“I believe that Mon County and the businesses — because they are uniquely affected — they deserve this solution,” he said.
The state received more than $1.2 billion from the federal government earlier this year for coronavirus relief efforts.