County to receive $2.97 million in federal CARES Act funding

Pulaski County will receive an estimated $2.97 million in federal CARES Act funding in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump on March 27th, 2020.

The CARES Act provides economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries.

Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act also provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

At Monday night’s meeting of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors, County Administrator Jonathan Sweet presented a breakdown on how the county’s share of the funding will be re-invested back into the community.

Pulaski and Dublin will share in the CARES Act funding, with the county appropriating approximately $623,725 to the two towns who have seen reduced revenues due to the virus.

Three recently announced grant programs will be funded by the CARES Act money.

  • One is the Small Business Recovery Grant Program which will provide grants in the amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 that will be made available through direct application on a first-come first-served basis for registered small businesses located in Pulaski County, who have 25 employees or less, are in good standing with the State Corporation Commission (SCC), and are up to date on all Pulaski County taxes, charges and fees. Priority will be given to those small businesses who have not received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.

The Small Business Recovery Grant Program is designed to support local small
businesses with recovering from the comprehensive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and
to assist with the mitigating expenses in response to COVID-19 that are required by the
Commonwealth to reopen and to continue operations.

  • A second is the “Out of School” Grants Program with grants to be awarded in amounts of up to $7,500. The grants will be made available through a direct application and written proposal and competitive selection process.

The “Out of School” Program Grant is designed to support the development and implementation of “out of school” programs that cater to our students’ needs in response to the impacts of physical distancing requirements on educational regulations due to COVID-19.

“A major concern across Virginia is what to do with our children when our workforce returns to work and schools are closed due to compliance with physical distancing mandates put in place as a response to COVID-19,” Sweet said recently in announcing the program.

“We need our community partners to step up to the challenge and develop new “out of school” programs that will help our Pulaski County families place their kids in a safe environment when school is not an option.  This new grant program is designed to assist with filling this need and we trust we will see new programming materialize as a result.”

  • The third is the Childcare Center Emergency Recovery Grants in the amount of $5,000 and up to $10,000 that will be made available through a direct application for Childcare Centers in Pulaski.

The childcare center grants are designed to support local certified childcare centers with recovering from the comprehensive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to assist them with mitigating expenses resulting from new requirements and regulations imposed by the Commonwealth to reopen and to continue childcare operations under phased guidelines.

The county will begin accepting applications for the three grant programs on Monday, Aug. 3. Full details on each program are available at www.pulaskicounty.org Click on the “COVID-19 Information” tab.

The rest of the CARES Act funding will go towards supporting the county’s constitutional offices, including Clerk of Court, Treasurer and Registrar, for expenses related to social distancing, cleaning and sanitation and other safety protocols as well as a variety of other COVID-19 related expenses throughout county government – and readying for future outbreaks.

Supervisors Chairman Joe Guthrie commended Sweet and county staff for their efforts to secure as much CARES Act funding for the county as possible, saying they had gone “above and beyond” in finding ways to secure funding.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot