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CARES Act Funding Program 

The CARES Act was signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020 and provides funding for a variety of programs intended to alleviate the impact of COVID-19. Section 5001 of the CARES Act establishes the Coronavirus Relief Fund which offsets necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Act 24 of 2020 was signed by Governor Wolf on May 29, 2020. This legislation provides $625 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief funding by means of block grants for counties in the commonwealth through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Cumberland County received $22.9 million in block grant funding.

Program Timeline

  • July 16 – Grant application opens at 8 a.m.
  • July 30 –  APPLICATION GRANT PROCESS CLOSED
  • Mid-Late August – Grant awards announced*
  • December 30 –Deadline for spending grant funds

*Exact date will be announced at a later date. 

Eligible Applicants

  • Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees
  • Tourism businesses of all sizes
  • Nonprofit organizations as defined by Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
  • Behavioral health and substance abuse disorder treatment providers
  • Municipal governments

NOTE: Priority for the Renew Cumberland CARES Act Funding will be given to businesses that have not received previous COVID-19 funding grants.  

Eligible Uses of Block Grant Funding

Funds shall be used to cover only those costs necessary to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency that were:

  • Not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (government applicants); and
  • Incurred during the period from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020.

The Cumberland County Commissioners have decided to allocate the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund block grant to the following eligible uses:

  • Offsetting the cost of the County’s COVID-19 direct response, planning and outreach efforts, including the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Grants to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
  • For tourism businesses of all sizes, including state and county fairs.
  • Assistance to municipalities in the County for COVID-19 response and planning efforts, including the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Grant programs to support costs of assisting businesses during the COVID-19 disaster emergency for certified economic development organizations (CEDOs), small business development centers (SBDCs), industrial resource centers (IRCs) and economic development corporations (EDCs).
  • Behavioral health and substance abuse disorder treatment services.
  • Nonprofit assistance programs for tax exempt entities covered by Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Ineligible Expenses

Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Expenses not related to the COVID-19 public emergency
  • Expenses incurred outside of the March 1 to December 30, 2020 timeframe
  • Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed through another federal program or some other funding source
  • Damages covered by insurance
  • Payroll or benefits expenses for employees whose work duties are not substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Reimbursing donors for donated items or services
  • Employee bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
  • Severance pay
  • Legal settlements

Application and Review Procedures

All applications must be completed online by Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. A task force of county officials will evaluate applications submitted in each eligible use category and submit funding recommendations to the Cumberland County Commissioners who will make final funding awards.  Applications will be evaluated based upon the applicant’s need for funding, community impact of the investment, and ability to spend program funds within established guidelines.

Procedures for Accessing Funds

Successful applicants will be notified by mid – to – late August and will enter into a contract with Cumberland County for expenditure of funds.  All funds must be fully expended by Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

Compliance, Reporting, and Auditing 

Fund payments are only subject to the requirements in the Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. Part 200) applicable to federal financial assistance, including 2 C.F.R. § 200.303 regarding internal controls, 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.330 through 200.332 regarding subrecipient monitoring and management, and Subpart F regarding audit requirements.

Generally any entity that does not have an IRS tax exempt status, will be required to treat the grant as taxable income and is responsible for paying any applicable taxes. Entities should consult with their tax advisors on any questions.


The CARES Application Process has been closed. Thank you!