Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund

The city is slated to receive $51.7 million from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Money for the fund was included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that Congress passed in March. The money will be delivered in two batches: half by May 11 this year, and the other half a year later.

These are the guidelines that the council must follow:

Spending Guidelines

Can be used for:  

  • Restoring local government revenue lost due to the pandemic, and government services affected by the loss of revenue.

  • Making up for the economic impact caused by COVID-19 by providing grants to small businesses, non-profits, households and tourism, hospitality and the arts.

  • Providing a pay supplement to local government workers performing essential work, or to provide grants to businesses with employees performing essential work.

  • Financing water, sewer and broadband projects.

 Cannot be used for:

  • Cannot be used to reduce the tax rate.

  • Cannot be used to delay a new tax or tax increase.

  • Cannot be deposited into pension funds.

The Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund is designed to give cities flexibility in responding to the health emergency and in funding projects, programs, or organizations that were economically impacted by the pandemic. Certain improvements to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure and programs may not have to be COVID-19 related to be eligible for funding.

Other Pandemic Relief

In addition to the $51.7 million the city will receive, the American Rescue Plan Act includes money for other programs that businesses and individuals may be eligible to apply for directly to the federal government. These include: 

  • Grants to restaurants and bars to meet payroll and other expenses.
  • Low-interest, long-term loans to businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Grants to shuttered music halls and concert venues.

City officials are also waiting on details about other programs that the city may help administer. These include:

  • Further assistance to homeowners who are behind on mortgage, rent and utility payments (in addition to the existing ERAP and RUMA programs).
  • Support for programs and projects for the homeless.
  • Grants to public transit agencies to make up for lost revenue.

City officials hope to take advantage of these other relief opportunities in order to stretch the $51.7 million as far as possible.