Signed into law on March 11, 2021 by President Biden, The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), provides COVID-19 funding relief for eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments. The purpose of ARPA is to support the public health response to COVID-19, address negative economic impacts, replace experienced revenue loss, implement premium pay for essential employees and make vital broadband and water/sewer infrastructure improvements. The U.S. Treasury issued the Interim Final Rule on May 10, 2021 to implement the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) established under ARPA. The Interim Final Rule provides guidance, clarification and a list of eligible and ineligible expenditures and uses. The State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and expended by December 31, 2026.
Communities across our region are actively taking steps to strategize and present ARPA spending plan recommendations to their respective Board of Commissioners or City/Town Council for approval. Below we spotlighted a few communities who have approved ARPA spending plans:
Cabarrus County received a total of $42,043,458 in State and Local Recovery funds. County departmental staff presented a spending plan at their budget work session for consideration which followed with an approval. The County has several ways it plans to spend ARPA funds, one is through the Cabarrus Recover Grant – Small Business Support Program. The County allocated $5 million to help small businesses recover from COVID-19 economic hardship. The program provides one-time funding to cover expenses associated with payroll and benefit costs, mortgage/rent, utilities, operating costs and COVID-19 prevents/mitigation costs. In addition to the small business support program, Cabarrus County dedicated more than $42 million to provide assistance to local for-profit and non-profit agencies serving local communities. The funding will provide food and shelter assistance, crisis intervention services, mental health support, job training and other eligible uses. Local agencies and organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, were encouraged to submit proposals for projects aligned with the County’s strategic priorities and state and federal eligibility requirements. The deadline for this program has passed (October 15).
Iredell County received a total of $35,313,684 in state and local recovery funds. The County will use $2.5 million of their funds to implement a premium pay program for qualifying employees. Premium pay is allocated to essential workers who faced health risks while working during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency. The premium pay disbursement to employees will be a one-time lump sum payment with respect to the 150% limitation rule. Additionally, the County will use funds to install an air purification system in their public library, provide housing assistance, necessary sewer investments and other projects.
City of Charlotte
The City of Charlotte divided their first tranche of ARPA funds into three sections, including housing ($17 million), workforce development/employment ($16 million) and community vitality ($27 million). In detail, the funds will provide $5 million dollars to small businesses to support business innovation. Four million dollars to support the hospitality sector; $5 million to support workforce and hiring grants; $1 million to sustain and enhance “Open for Business” Strategy programming; $1.5 million to support efforts to address food insecurity in the City and $1 million dollars to design, plan and fund the HIRE CLT & COOP workforces study program. The funds will also support broadband infrastructure projects such as digital inclusion, including internet adoption, device access and digital literacy. Additionally, the City will use the funds to provide operating support to grassroots non-profits organizations the YMCA, arts and culture, public safety and more.
The funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act will provide a foundation for state and local governments to address economic challenges, recover and be resilient in the future. Centralina provides strategic planning, project management and fund administration support to communities managing ARPA funds. Learn more here.
If you are interested in receiving ARPA Implementation services, please complete this form and Nina Barrett, Government Affairs & Member Engagement Coordinator, will reach out with more information.
*Please note: The approved ARPA spending plans mentioned above are subject to change at any time.