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ARP Committee Recommends Revising, Reopening Small Business Economic Assistance Program

Jun 07, 2023

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners American Rescue Plan (ARP) Committee met Tuesday afternoon to consider recommendations from staff related to the County’s Small Business and Nonprofit economic assistance programs.

The Committee approved a recommendation from County staff to revise the County’s Small Business Economic Assistance Policy in light of the US Treasury’s Final Rule on the American Rescue Plan, which was released in April 2022 and included modifications with implications for the County’s Small Business Economic Assistance Program, including revised eligibility criteria, updated funding allocation guidelines, and revised reporting requirements. The recommended policy revision streamlines program requirements to make it less restrictive on small businesses seeking to apply for assistance.

Along with the policy revision, the Committee approved a recommendation to reopen the application period for the Small Business Economic Assistance Program from July 1 to July 31, 2023, to allow additional small businesses to apply for assistance. Additionally, the Committee approved a request to grant County Management the authority to amend existing contracts with small businesses up to the $50,000 maximum allowed under the program based on the revised policy’s eligibility requirements. The approved items will be moved to the June 19, 2023, Board of Commissioners meeting for consideration by the full Board.

Cumberland County Chief of Staff Tye Vaught also presented the Committee with funding recommendations from the COVID-19 Assistance to Nonprofits Program. The Board of Commissioners previously approved funding recommendations for 23 nonprofit organizations. Staff recommended awarding a total of $804,115 to 17 additional nonprofits that applied to the program. After reviewing the staff recommendations, the Committee recommended moving a revised total funding amount of $579,725 forward to the Board of Commissioners on June 19.

In other business, the Committee directed staff to prepare Disclosure Statements for all Commissioners to complete and sign related to any involvement they may have with any of the nonprofits being considered for award.

Vaught provided the Committee with the following additional updates:

  1. State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (Cornyn-Padilla Amendment) – The amendment, passed in December 2022, allows local governments to utilize SLFRF funds for CDBG-related expenditures, providing an opportunity to address critical community development needs. Local governments are permitted to use either $10 million or 30% of their total SLFRF allocation, whichever is greater, for CDBG-related expenditures. This would amount to up $19.5 million of Cumberland County’s original allocation. Vaught said that the US Treasury has yet to issue guidance specifically pertaining to how this will be implemented, but that staff is continuing to engage the UNC School of Government, NCACC and other stakeholders to stay updated on any developments or guidance regarding the amendment and will bring additional information back to the Committee when it becomes available.
  2. ARP Projects – Vaught provided the Committee with a status update on the County’s ARP-budgeted projects.

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners ARP Committee is comprised of Commissioner Jimmy Keefe, who chairs the Committee, Chairwoman Dr. Toni Stewart and Vice Chairman Glenn Adams.

For more information on the ARP Committee and Cumberland County’s ARP allocation and programs, go to cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/commissioners-group/commissioners/american-rescue-plan.