Gold Star chili, VHS stores and concerts become elements of the city stimulus
BY LON DEMON, Mad Man
DISCLAIMER: This piece is satire, written for our April Fool’s Edition, and it is not based on true events.
Federal Director of COVID-19 Investing and Spending Charles Ponzi, Jr., announced new restrictions for how relief funds could be spent on Saturday.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 relief bill, which included $130 billion in direct federal aid to cities across the country.
Many individuals across the country have lauded the Biden administration for their quick work with the COVID-19 relief fund.
“What (Biden appointee) Ponzi has been able to do for our people and for our cities across the country has been phenomenal… he’s created billions of dollars for reinvestment seemingly out of nowhere,” junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public and finance double major Danny Wilson said.
The legislation included language that required all spending from this fund to adhere to future guidelines released by Ponzi.
In his memo on the new restrictions, Ponzi began by thanking Biden and democratic legislators for their contributions to the fund, and encouraged more support at a grassroots level from other donors.
“We’ve been fortunate to have the support of so many legislators throughout this process. And you can help support the relief fund, too,” Ponzi wrote. “The return on investment is fantastic; we’ve seen returns as high as 90 percent after 50 days.”
While many city officials across the country hoped relief funds could be spent immediately on infrastructure, parks or affordable housing, Ponzi announced that the first 25% of relief funds in every city must be spent by paying off pre-existing debts cities may have incurred.
For large cities like New York, which only has $58.5 billion in assets to pay $244 billion in liabilities, this debt solution by Ponzi could make a huge impact.
In an attempt to reinvigorate the tourism industry, cities will be required to spend at least 10% of their budget on erecting a monument in their city.
“The likes of the World’s Largest Basket in Newark, Ohio, or the World’s Largest Fork in Springfield, Missouri should be inspirations to us all,” Ponzi said in his memo.
“These attractions have been offering us socially-distant, family-friendly activities years before the pandemic,” he added.
Anywhere from 15 to20% of additional funds must go toward a small business relief fund in each city. Acceptable causes for requesting a small business loan include entertainment costs, like hosting a concert or balloon artists in the office, according to Ponzi.
“We have to be able to get our citizens back to work. Too many people are working from home and too many people are afraid to work at all. So it is important for us to provide avenues for our local businesses to get their employees back in the office,” Ponzi said.
Other restrictions which comprise a smaller portion of the budget include mandates for cities to spend on the following: replacing vacant buildings with community fax centers or VHS stores; investing in new sports — including quidditch, bossaball, and ga-ga ball teams — and buying into the corn ethanol market as a green energy solution.
Cincinnati will receive $291.6 million in total COVID-19 relief funds, according to city officials.
Since the restrictions have been released by Ponzi, Cincinnati Mayor Cran Johnley has held hourly press conferences. In these press conferences, he has highlighted his plans to invest the relief funds and comply with these new requirements.
In partnership with Gold Star Chili, Johnley announced Cincinnati’s monument will be the “World’s Largest Chili Spaghetti”.
“I’m so happy that Cincinnati will build their statue of a five-way,” first-year nursing major and Cincinnati native Terra Castellini said. “There is no better representation of the city, in my opinion. I also think Gold Star is way better than Skyline, so Mayor Johnley made the right decision.”
Johnley also explained they have already heard interest from Cincinnati businesses such as Gamble & Procter and Three-Fifths Bank, which plan to request entertainment loan funds.
Gamble & Procter plans to host a concert with star acts Billy Ray Cyrus and O-Town to draw employees back to the office.
Similarly, Three-Fifths Bank will ask Barnum and Bailey to have a festival in town later this year.
For more information about investing in or restrictions on COVID-19 relief funding, students are encouraged to call 1(800)PONZISCHEMEINC.