MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont has launched an economic recovery program for businesses that have not received prior state and federal pandemic-related funding and for others that continue to suffer pandemic-related losses.

The program is expected to deliver $30 million in federal financial relief to businesses that were ineligible for state and federal funding and to businesses that can show a continued loss of revenues, Gov. Scott said.

“As we move out of the pandemic emergency and into our long-term recovery, it’s so important that we support Vermont’s small businesses and employers, who are the backbone of our economy,” Scott said Thursday. “These grants will provide critical relief in the short term, allowing them to rebuild a stable foundation for their economic futures.”

The state will start taking applications for the Economic Recovery Bridge Program on Monday. Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis. In the first 30 days, priority will be given to businesses that have not received or do not have a pending application for any state or federal financial assistance in 2020 or 2021, officials said.

More information is available online on the Agency of Commerce and Community Development Recovery Resource Center.

In other pandemic-related developments:

VACCINATION RATE

Nearly 7,900 more Vermonters need to get at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 to reach the state's goal of 80% of the eligible population vaccinated, Gov. Scott said Friday.

Scott has said he will drop the remaining virus-related restrictions early before July 4 if the state reaches that milestone. The 80% target equals about 70% of Vermont's total population, which is where the governor’s administration originally thought the state could be by July 4, according to the governor’s press secretary.

As of Thursday, 78.6% of eligible Vermonters ages 12 and older have gotten at least one shot.

“Vermonters have stepped up throughout this pandemic and we are very close to our vaccination goal,” Scott said in a written statement. “As we’re seeing a slow-down in the number of people being vaccinated, we need those who have not yet gotten their shot to find a clinic today. It has never been easier, with hundreds of clinics across the state. Vaccines are free, safe and very effective — now is the time.”

Dozens of walk-in vaccine clinics are being held around the state Friday through Monday, he said. Most pharmacies will also take walk-ins, he said.

___

THE NUMBERS

Vermont reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a statewide total since the pandemic started of more than 24,250 cases.

One death was reported, bringing the total to 256. One person was hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 43.14 new cases a day May 19 to 8.29 new cases a day on Wednesday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 0.43 deaths a day May 19 to 0.00 deaths a day Wednesday.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.