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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

  • Mid-July – Grant applications open*
  • Late-July – Applications due via online portal*
  • Mid-Late August – Grant awards announced*
  • December 30 –Deadline for spending grant funds

*Exact dates will be announced at a later date. 

Eligible Applicants

  • Municipal governments
  • Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees
  • CEDOs, LDDs, IRCs, SBDCs, and EDCs
  • Behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment providers
  • Nonprofit organizations as defined by Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

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

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. CDFIs can be used to administer the grant program for small businesses and tourism businesses. CDFIs can be used to administer the grant program for small businesses and tourism businesses.
  • 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 time frame
  • 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

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-Late August 2020 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 

Recipients must comply with all applicable federal and state regulations including the Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. Part 200).  View frequently asked coronavirus relief fund questions for additional guidance. Recipients must provide monthly progress reports that document expenditures and compliance with applicable federal and state regulations. Recipients are subject to sub-recipient monitoring.  Progress reports will be publicly shared on the Cumberland County website. A recipient or sub-recipient that expends $750,000 or more in federal awards during its fiscal year is required to provide the appropriate single or Program-Specific Audit.

For More Information Contact: Gary Scicchitano, Cumberland County COVID-19 Recovery Coordinator gscicchitano@ccpa.net or 717-756-5603.