American Rescue Plan Funds Update
Amber Faist (00:00):
Hey, welcome back. My name is Amber Faist. I work with the Oregon native American chamber. I am the technical assistance program manager, um, and I am joined today by Noah Brockman from the SBDC Noah, can you give us a quick introduction to who you are?
Noah Brockman (00:15):
Hey, great to be here again. Noah Brockman with the Oregon SBDC network. I lead the Capital Access Team and we help small business owners with access to capital.
Amber Faist (00:26):
Awesome. Great. Thank you so much. Um, so we will be talking about the American Rescue Plan, um, how that’s kind of, uh, coming out and slowly starting to be dispersed. I just want to note that today’s date is, uh, Thursday, May 13th, 2021. Uh, we know how rapidly this information changes. So we just want to acknowledge that, um, this information that we’ll be sharing with you today is, um, really relevant to this time period. And there may be things that are happening in the future that kind of changed some of this. So take it away, Noah.
Noah Brockman (01:00):
Okay. So I’m doing my best to fact check things. So, um, so it’s my understanding, Oh, there’s my caveat, uh, that the America’s Rescue Plan has, uh, in store, um, and appropriation of 4.6 billion for Oregon. And what that means is that 2.6 billion goes directly to the state to determine how best to use those funds. And actually this week, um, US treasury put out there, we like to call it a one sheet, but it’s actually a two sheet. It’s a use of funds guidance from the department of the treasury for coronavirus, state, and local fiscal recovery funds. And, um, it essentially talks about all the uses of funds that States counties, cities, tribal governments, and territories can use the funds for including, um, supporting public health responses, replacing the public sector, revenue, loss, water, and sewer infrastructure, um, addressing negative economic impacts, premium pay for essential workers and broadband infrastructure.
Noah Brockman (02:16):
So, um, right now, according to the, um, May 7th recent podcast, uh, this week with Senator Betsy Johnson that I caught on Monday, um, the legislature is going through a process where they have determined that each state representative will be able to allocate will have an allocation of $2 million for their district. And each state Senator will have an allocation of $4 million for theirs, for their, uh, state Senate district. And so, um, basically what they’re going to do is it’s up to them to sort through the list of local projects, um, and then allocate funds appropriately. That’s my understanding check with your local, um, state rep or state Senator on that, but that tells me a little bit more about how the process is working at least for the, um, funds that are going to the state. So, um, the state government that is, and so I guess that means that at a 4.6 billion, if you take 2.6 and give it to the state that leaves 2 billion for the cities and counties and, um, treasury has put up a list, um, if you just Google, um, us treasury, ARPA cities and counties list, it’ll go through by state and list out how much cities and counties are getting.
Noah Brockman (03:49):
And then you can check out, um, that for your local area and certainly, um, follow up with, uh, your local city and County leaders to see what they’re thinking about. I was recently on a, um, a webinar put on by greater Portland, Inc. That they, where they host the annual meet the mayors conference. And each of the mayors went through and talked about, uh, most of them, most of them had, I think, did talked about what kind of, um, ARPA allocation their city is getting and what plans they had to utilize those funds. So, um, good information. Just kind of keeping you in the loop. Um,
Amber Faist (04:35):
Well, since you attended that, um, did you hear any of them talking about any kind of business relief?
Noah Brockman (04:43):
Um, I’d have to check my notes. I think that was like 20 or so presentations. Um, my sense is that, so if you just kind of look at this conceptually, you know, the funds come from the federal government and they chunk down to the state and then they chunked down to the cities and counties, and then there’s this bottleneck. It’s going to take some time to figure out like how to distribute. And if it goes out to let’s say an economic development agency, like let’s say the county where the city economic dev agency, that’s focused on, you know, the health and wellness of, of small business in that County or city. It may take some time for those funds for those program managers or active staff to figure out how best to distribute it in terms of, you know, putting, standing up a program in place, targeting business sectors that are, you know, the have been the hardest hit and not, and kind of slipped through the cracks in terms of maybe they weren’t supported by some of these programs that we’ve already talked about and, um, are still really struggling.
Noah Brockman (05:53):
So I think, you know, cities and counties are economic development folks are going to be really looking at businesses that have fallen through the cracks and how best to support them, you know, with last year’s, um, grant funds that came out cities and counties that, that receive funds Cares Act funding did have an opportunity to roll out, um, grant programs. So they, they probably, you know, have some good expertise there and some programs in place that they can leverage this time around. Um, but I, I just imagine it might be like June or July when that starts happening, but I’m not sure. Yeah.
Amber Faist (06:36):
Well, I appreciate your insight anyways. And, you know, um, yeah. You know, and I participated in a couple of these different kind of grant selection committees, and, you know, you know, we do work with the IB RN that’s funded through prosper Portland. And so, um, yeah, I’m kind of waiting in the wings to hear more about, you know, how these funds will kind of trickle down and, and what that looks like for small businesses. And I’m really excited to hear you like call out specifically these, um, really vulnerable businesses that have been kind of left out. Um, I have one business that I work with in particular who started operations, um, in, uh, basically, you know, registered in November, 2019, but wasn’t really into full like business operations until, um, you know, late February, early March. Um, but didn’t have any payroll at that point. And so because of that, very, just like that slim margin, um, were unable to access PPP and EIDL because they weren’t in operations before that February date.
Amber Faist (07:39):
And, and I’ve been thinking a lot about that actually around businesses that, um, we’re kind of just in that really unlucky window, frankly. Um, and then also, um, you know, the ones that are just like continually being shut down right now. So, um, I really appreciate you, uh, calling that out. And I think that that is something that we, you know, as community members and business owners should be talking to folks about and making sure that, you know, we are uplifting those, those experiences and also, um, you know, things that we’re seeing and, you know, in our clients and in our communities and experiences.
Noah Brockman (08:18):
Yeah. It’s been rough for everybody. Um, and I know that in a number of clients that we’ve see that we’ve seen via zoom or talk to, um, you know, they just happened to luck of the draw of being the right sector or luck of the draw, not be in the right sector and be, you know, more detrimentally impact by the pandemic and, um, you know, shut down orders. So it’s, uh, it’s been kind of tough to watch, but, um, so now we’re all in this recovery and helping folks navigate to sources of funding that are available that are a good match for them. And, you know, we’re happy to support those conversations. Um, folks can always reach us at OregonSBDCcat C a t.org and find your regional capital access team adviser.
Amber Faist (09:18):
Thanks, Noah. I think the one last thing I’m going to note is that, um, own app is also available. If you have any questions about how you can advocate or get involved, or, um, learn more about, you know, different programs and grant and funding opportunities that are becoming available. Um, and you can find us at OnaCC.org, or you can give us a call at (503) 898-9445 two five. Thanks for joining us, Noah, always a pleasure.
Noah Brockman (09:48):
Hey, thanks for having me take care.