In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A section of the CARES Act authorized the Department of the Treasury to establish and manage the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for unanticipated but necessary expenditures incurred by states and local governments due to COVID-19. The state of North Carolina received about $4.07 billion in federal CRF funds and established the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to maintain the CRF monies awarded to the state under the CARES Act. The state allocated a portion of the federal award to the 97 counties that were not eligible to receive CRF funds directly from the federal government. In December 2020, Congress enacted legislation that extended the CRF deadline to December 31, 2021.
Union County received about $8.8 million from the state and made $2.2 million available to the local municipalities for expenditures that qualify under the CARES Act. Eligible categories of expenditures broadly include medical facilities and capabilities, public health equipment/supplies, payroll for public safety or healthcare employees, compliance with public health measures, economic support and other expenses to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. Union County staff was excited to receive these funds, but they needed assistance with program design and reporting.
How Centralina Helped
Centralina Community Economic Development staff collaborated with Union County to develop the structure for the County’s CRF program, including the application process for municipalities, monthly reporting and review procedures and policies/guidelines. The county’s CRF program provided much needed assistance and relief to local municipalities that included payroll support for public health employees, personal protective equipment, disinfecting/sanitizing supplies and equipment and technology to support social distancing requirements. Centralina Community Economic Development staff continues to work diligently to ensure Union County’s CRF program is successful in meeting all federal requirements.