COVID 19 – County Relief Block Grant Program
Under the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, 2020 Enacted H.R. 748, 116 Enacted H.R. 748, the “CARES Act”), the U.S. Department of the Treasury is authorized to transfer funds to the Commonwealth to cover costs of the Commonwealth 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 the date of enactment of this section for the State or government; and “were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
- Offsetting the cost of direct county response, planning & outreach efforts related to COVID-19.
- Small Business Grant Programs to support businesses with fewer than 100 employees & to support businesses and other entities that are primarily engaged in the tourism industry.
- Grant programs to support the following entities for costs related to assisting businesses during the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency: CEDOs, LDDs, IRCs, SBDCs, EDCs.
- Assistance to cities, boroughs, incorporated towns or townships located within eligible counties for response and planning efforts related to COVID-19.
- Behavioral Health & Substance use disorder treatment services.
- Nonprofit assistance programs for entities that are an exempt organizations under section 501(C)(3) OR 501(C)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
- Broadband internet deployment with priority given to unserved or underserved areas.
Only county governments, those not directly funded by the Federal Government, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 County Block Grant Program funding through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Note: There are 60 out of 67 PA counties that meet this criteria.
- Minimum Distribution – No county shall receive a distribution of less than $1,000,000.
- Proration – The distribution to a county shall be adjusted on a pro rata basis to the extent necessary to meet the minimum distribution requirements and not to exceed the total amount appropriated for the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant.
- Exclusion – A county with a population that is greater than 500,000 that has received a disbursement directly from the Federal Government through the CARES Act, is not eligible to receive funds.
- Population Proportion Amount – The population proportion amount shall be determined as follows:
- The allocation of funding distributed to each county is based on a formula which takes into consideration the total of each county’s population as a percentage of the total population of the sixty counties (6,905,235) not receiving direct assistance via the CARES Act minus those counties receiving the minimum allocation of $1,000,000. That percentage is then used to determine the allocation for each county of the $625,000,000.
- Population estimate is defined as the County’s population shall be equal to the published estimate by the United States Census Bureau Population estimates for Calendar Year 2019.
Eligible expenditures must have been incurred during the period that began on March 1, 2020 and ending on December 30, 2020.
County Relief Block Grant Guidance Webinar
Pennsylvania counties will learn about the use of funds, contracting and monitoring procedures, and what is an eligible activity or expenditure for the COVID-19 County Relief Block Program.