The Recovery and Resiliency Strategies are meant to guide GRADD communities toward a path of economic growth and sustainment. While related, recovery and resiliency are slightly different. The purpose of recovery is to address immediate impacts and restore the levels of economic and community activity seen prior to the pandemic. The purpose of resiliency is to create a more flexible and adaptable local economy that can better withstand future pandemics and other shocks. The Economic Recovery and Resiliency Plan addresses immediate recovery and examines routes for long-term resilience.
COVID-19 Stimulus Relief
There were two Federal acts that provided funds directly to local governments. For initial recovery, the federal government administered the Coronavirus Relief Funds from the CARES Act in March 2020. Much of the reimbursed expenditures eligible under these funds were PPE, first responder payroll, business grants, unemployment assistance, and other items useful in creating a workable economy amid the pandemic. The second federal fund to further economic recovery from COVID-19 came in March 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act set aside the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which focused on creating a resilient foundation for the nation at the local level.
In addition to local funding, both of those packages, along with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, sent stimulus checks to residents, providing much needed income to households during the pandemic recession. GRADD counties and cities learned as they maneuvered through recovery from the devastating pandemic. In Union County for example, weekly virtual meetings between local officials, leaders, business owners, healthcare representatives, and other organizations allowed for reliable and constant communication to facilitate well informed decisions.
In another instance, many counties and cities were able to create small business grants to help businesses impacted by the pandemic stay afloat. Businesses used grant funds to adapt to doing business during the ongoing pandemic.
GRADD expanded its website to foster the recovery and resilience initiative as set forth in this plan. GRADD launched an online COVID-19 information hub designed to be a one-stop shop for grants and other financial assistance useful to individuals, businesses, and local governments. This hub also contains other general information relating to the pandemic. The COVID-19 Resource Hub launched in October 2020. In February 2021, GRADD expanded this hub to include non-COVID information relating to other grants and funding commonly used by those in the GRADD region.