Important Information & FAQs
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is an unprecedented $1.9 trillion fiscal relief bill passed by Congress on March 11, 2021 with the intention of helping our country recover from the lost revenue and increased spending that was needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. $350 billion in funds has been directly allocated to states, cities and counties to not only replace lost revenue, but to strategically invest in technology and services to create a foundation for more effective response to future public health emergencies.
We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to ARP, helpful links, and a free checklist of key steps you can take to be prepared. The information is constantly changing, so we will keep this page up to date with the latest info we find.
What can I do to secure ARP funding for my agency or local government?
Because the ARP is a direct formula grant there is no formal application process. This mean that public safety and public administration leaders need to be their own advocates and approach their local leadership (i.e. mayor, city council, etc) to share how ARP funds could and should be used on an upcoming technology investment. However, each community will approach this process differently.
Download our free checklist of key steps you can take to prepare for that conversation.
How is ARP different than the CARES Act of 2020?
While the CARES Act require a specific use of funds for COVID-19 pandemic-related activities such as PPE, the ARP has much broader guidelines of how funds can be utilized. This now includes technology investments such as CAD, 911, or Community Development systems, that can be used to prepare for future public health emergencies. Additionally, the ARP includes smaller municipalities that were not allowed access to funding in the CARES Act.
Does ARP only cover public safety agencies like police and EMS?
Not at all. The ARP guidelines apply to both public safety agencies (i.e. police and EMS) as much as local governments who are in need of funding for upcoming investments, such as technology projects that would improve efficiency for community development activities including citations, public works management, and many others.
Is there a deadline on when funds awarded from ARP have to be used?
Funds provided from the ARP are required to be used by December 31, 2024. This allows your agency or local government time to think strategically about not only what needs exist today for potential technology investments but the longer-term impact this opportunity could have on your community.
How would technology purchases be tied to ARP funding?
The funding guidelines are broad so by showing how a technology purchase like a CAD system for instance can help you respond to community emergencies faster, this makes a clear connection for funding.
Are all ARP funds directly allocated, meaning I can’t submit a typical grants application?
While ARP funds are directly allocated to cities, states and local governments without an application process, requiring your agency to advocate for your share, part of the ARP process has provided additional funding to existing government grants, such as FEMA grants.
To learn more about those specific grants and how competitive grants work in general, visit our Grants Assistance Program.
FREE WEBINAR: ARP Act – How to maximize your access to funding
On May 19, 2021, we hosted a webinar with grants and funding expert Samantha Dorm. Our discussion focused on the latest details of the ARP and its impact on public safety and public administration agencies, as well as strategic tips to help maximize your access to funding.
Watch the webinar recording and hear answers to common questions about ARP funding.
Along with ARP funding, CentralSquare can help with competitive grants to help fund your technology programs. We offer free, unlimited grant assistance.
Learn more about how you can use ARP funding for your technology program.