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  • Writer's pictureNCLM

Small Business, Community Support Included in the ARP

Understanding these provisions will allow local governments to engage in successful outreach and make the most of ARP direct funding.

The American Rescue Plan provided funds targeted to small businesses and are being administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

To make the most of the funding available to businesses, municipalities should understand how these programs work and engage with their business community to apply for available funds. Additionally, if separate areas of funding available through the ARP can address the needs of other groups or sectors of the economy, that will allow local governments to more effectively target and maximize the community impact that their ARP funds can have.

Federal funds currently available to businesses in response to COVID-19:

Loans provided through private lenders and backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) designed to provide assistance to small businesses to keep workers on payroll. Borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness if the business meets certain targets for retaining jobs and rehiring employees.

The American Rescue Plan provided program revisions to make funds more accessible to small business and businesses owned by people of color.

Deadline: Loans are being offered through May 31, 2021

Provides small businesses and nonprofits that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Loan eligibility has been expanded to include agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

SBA is currently accepting new COVID-19 EIDL applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations.

Deadline: Applications are accepted through December 31, 2021

Provides assistance to restaurants, bars, and other similar businesses serving food or drink.

The American Rescue Plan appropriated $28.6 billion to award funds. Grants are available until the funds have been expended.

As of April 22, 2021 program applications were not yet open. Businesses can sign up for email updates on the application process and begin preparing information needed to complete the application.

Grants are available for live venue operators and promoters, theaters, performing arts organizations, and movie theatres. Eligible business may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, up to $10 million.

Applicants must register through the application portal. As of April 22, 2021, the application portal was suspended due to technical difficulties. Applicants can continue to register for a portal account.

Targeting outreach to underserved communities:

The SBA is launching the Community Navigators Pilot Program for targeted outreach to businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. These technical assistance programs seek to break down the barriers often associated with preparing and completing loan and assistance applications. The American Rescue Plan allocated $100 million to establish Community Navigator Programs across the county. If your community has an organization that would like to participate in hosting a Community Navigator Program, grant funding will soon be available through SBA’s website.

Businesses can locate SBA local offices and partners for assistance with accessing these programs.

Remind businesses to be vigilant toward scams and frauds: SBA Programs - Scams and Fraud Alerts.


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