As COVID-19 continues to challenge business owners, the struggle to determine how to create a ‘safe’ environment for employees and visitors continues. Safe Space protocols are critical, as are local, state and national guidelines—a difficult task considering how they both vary and change. The ‘safest’ bet is to mitigate legal risk by adopting a ‘duty of care’ mindset and bolstering the business with health safety protocols and screening systems, ideally supported by strong compliance reporting. As we know, these systems carry a cost. We address methods to support an ROI for the investment in our 6 Ps of Safe Space Strategy white paper, but one topic not covered is finding the available funds to help.
There are a number of grants and funding resources available at both the federal and state levels to use for preventing and responding to COVID -19. Many local and state governments are looking for the best ways to use the federal aid made available earlier this year as part of the Coronavirus Relief Fund within the CARES Act. Not widely known, however, is that many held a large portion in their coffers while the virus facts remained in limbo, along with impacts on tax receipts and government spend. While Congress continues its back and forth regarding the next round of stimulus, state and local leaders only have until December 30, 2020 to use what they have on hand. So, the time is now to access what some would refer to as ‘Safe Space slush funds’.
At the end of October, New Jersey mandated new health and safety protocols statewide, including temperature checks. They then made PPE products available at a 10% discount and provided a business information hub that lists the many opportunities for small businesses in their state to get financial help. Other state sites have started to follow suit in order to help each jurisdiction with high-priority needs and compliance with the federal requirements for spending government funding.
Obviously, this is a critical information trail for everyone in our industry to stay on top of, especially to access money that will need to be spent in the next 30 days. To make the search as simple as possible, we have listed some of the best links and information that we have found. Please refer to this list for your Safe Space sales efforts, share them with partners and customers and contact us with any others we should list.
CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQs
Got a question? Here are the basic answers, including a link specific to grant opportunities and guidance. It includes the Department of Health and Human services ‘Search Grants’ link, a searchable database of current, forecasted and closed grant opportunities.
A national and international guide to emergency financial resources to help with COVID-19 hardships
Created by Candid.Org, this is an excellent, searchable resource for helping businesses find emergency financial resources. Jump to:
- Grants for Nonprofits
- Grants for Individuals
- Grants for Artists (all disciplines)
- Grants for Small Businesses
- International Aid
More federal funding links, including:
- Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) (Treasury guidance & allowable expenses guidance)
- FEMA Guidance (FEMA guidance)
- Community Development Block Grants (HUD guidance here)
- Byrne JAG (CESF Grant Solicitation guidance)
Guide to State Allocation Plan, COVID-19 Spending
The CRF COVID Relief Funds Tracker Spending Plans spreadsheet of funding available and links for each state.
This is an excellent article deconstructing new funding for K-12. Important information is shared on a $2.2.trillion aid package that the House approved on 10/1, which includes a total of $225 billion for education. That includes $175 billion for K-12 schools, $27 billion for higher education, $2 billion for Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools and Tribal Colleges and Universities, and $4 billion for governors to split. Another $5 billion in grants would go toward improving K-12 facilities, including school ventilation systems. And $11.9 billion would go toward helping colleges and universities address pandemic-related challenges. An analysis by The Learning Policy Institute estimates how much each state could receive, ranging from nearly $22 billion for California’s K-12 schools to $262 million for Wyoming’s.
InReality’s Learning Center is committed to sharing important guidance to help the industry navigate the complexities of the ever-evolving Safe Space landscape. The information shared is informed by experience working with many constituents and stakeholders. If you have a topic you would like addressed, please submit it to Laura Davis-Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
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