In March of 2021, Congress passed a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, which was then signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. On May 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program authorized pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”).
ARPA will bring new funding to our state and county that will go to assisting the recovery of our region. The state of Colorado is expected to receive $3.8 billion, while El Paso County is expected to receive $139,929,837 million, based on our population. Other counties and cities across the state will also receive funding through ARPA to use on a variety of causes and programs, including:
- Vaccination programs
- Contract tracing
- Purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Capital investments in public facilities to address existing operational concerns.
Eligible businesses and non-profits can use ARPA funds to:
- Provide loans or grants to mitigate financial hardship including declines in revenue, payroll, rent, or other costs related to retaining employees, including providing funds to offer additional payments to essential works.
- Local governments and municipalities are permitted to use funds to:
- Make necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, including wastewater-owned treatment works and develop water reuse projects.
There is much more to learn about ARPA and El Paso County is currently examining how best to allocate this funding to best benefit our region and residents.
To find out more about ARPA on a national level, please visit the U.S. Department of Treasury website. For more information on how ARPA funds will be used locally here in El Paso County, please take a look at the preliminary budget documents linked below.
Eligibility for ARPA Grant Assistance for 501(c)(6) Chambers of Commerce and Business League Organizations, or Non-lobbying 501 (c)(4) with and Economic Development Driven Mission
El Paso County SLFRF Eligibility and Requirements for 501(c)6/4 Organization Funding
The Department of Treasury wants to invest in a broad range of projects that respond to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 and its negative economic impacts to local businesses and business industries. Funds may be used by chambers and business league organizations that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Chambers of Commerce (501(c)(6))
- Business League Organizations (501(c)(6)) focused on regional tourism efforts
- Non-lobbying 501(c)(4) with an economic development driven mission
Eligible Uses of Funding:
- Funds may be used to implement COVID-19 mitigation and infection prevention measures to enable safe resumption of chamber or busines league activities, for example, improvements to ventilation, physical barriers or partitions, signage to facilitate social distancing, provision of masks or personal protective equipment, or consultation with infection prevention professionals to develop safe reopening plans.
- Funds may be used to assist with business operations expenses to include fixed business operating expense (i.e. rent/utilities) and employee payroll to the extent of lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Funds may be used for increased marketing costs related to economic recovery for the region’s business support services or tourism industries.
Timeline for Program Administration:
- September 27, 2021 – Grant Application Opens/ News Release
- October 15, 2021 (5 PM) – Grant Application Closes
- Early November 2021– Grant Awards Announced
- Funding Must be Expended by November 30, 2022
- Final Economic Impact Report Must be Submitted by December 31, 2022