Local governments can support communities with COVID-19 relief funding grant administration

Local governments can support communities with COVID-19 relief funding grant administration

Authored by Caitlin Humrickhouse, MPA, SWP

As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, local governments across the country used millions of dollars in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) allocations to distribute grants to local small businesses and not-for-profit organizations in their jurisdictions. This provided a lifeline to thousands of businesses throughout 2020, helping them stay in operation during the pandemic and providing economic stability within communities. However, this was a substantial undertaking for local governments, requiring a significant management and compliance effort.

Now with the House currently working through another economic relief package, referred to as the American Rescue Plan, this could mean significant relief funding for the public sector. The proposed package includes $350 billion for states, local governments, territories and tribes. This additional funding will be critical to help small businesses and communities continue to weather the pandemic. The House’s goal is to sign the proposal into law by March 14, 2021.

To support the upcoming grant administration fund distribution effort, Baker Tilly’s public sector team developed a tool to help take the burden off your organization with simple and streamlined grant program administration, which includes an online web portal and automated workflow system. As local governments navigate this next phase, consider the following support elements:

  • Grant program design that complies with federal and state legislation and provides a straight-forward application and seamless administration process 
  • Customized web portal, developed by our public sector specialists, that features:
    - Easy online application and document upload for applicants 
    - Review, approval and rejection workflows for use by Baker Tilly grant reviewers and county/local government administration and staff 
    - Automated applicant communication to facilitate revisions to applications, status updates and digital grant award signing 
    - Real-time access to program data for updating elected officials on total value of grant awards distributed and other data points
    - Audit-trail and file retention
  • End-to-end grant administration, including applicant communication and application review

Lean on us as Value Architects

Baker Tilly’s public sector team has assisted numerous local governments with grant program administration. Currently, we are using the portal to manage the distribution of over $17 million in funds to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Connect with us for more information or to learn more about how we can help.

COVID-19 funding for states and local governments

Latest COVID-19 proposal includes $350B for state and local governments

The American Rescue Plan is expected to include economic relief funding for state and local governments, territories and tribes.

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