18 Aug 2020

Are You Taking Advantage of the CARES Act – Coronavirus Relief Fund?

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide financial resources to State, Local and Tribal governments navigating the impact of COVID-19. The State of Georgia is transferring portions of the federal CARES ACT funds to the local governments in phases and based on population. 

The CARES Act requires that Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) be used to cover expenses that

  • are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
  • were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act); and
  • were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

U.S. Department of Treasury

To receive payments from the Fund, units of local government must submit a certification to the Treasury Secretary signed by the Chief Executive Officer for that local government unit stating that its proposed use of the funds are consistent with these three conditions.

What One ECG Member is Doing

The City of Thomasville is taking full advantage of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to alleviate the financial impact caused by COVID-19.

The CRF explicitly prohibits funds to be used for direct revenue replacement and can only be used for COVID-19 related expenditures. To date, Thomasville has tracked and monitored all unforeseen and unbudgeted costs totaling $135,000 in COVID-19 related expenditures. The accumulation of those expenses include purchases of PPE, hand washing stations, hardware/software for remote access, additional cleanings/fogs, hands -free appliances, etc. Chris White, Executive Director/Public Utilities for the City of Thomasville is confident the expenditures submitted will qualify for the CARES Act funding through CRF and assist in the financial impact caused by COVID-19.

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