March 12, 2021 | Advocacy Alert: American Rescue Plan and Main Street Impact | By: Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations, NMSC |
Yesterday, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan
(ARP), a $1.9 trillion dollar package with broad, robust support for new and existing federal programs to help the nation through the remainder of the pandemic. Several provisions of this package have the potential to support both our communities and the specific local economic development work of Main Street programs.
The package includes:
- Small Business Support: The package allocates an additional $7.25 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and restores the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which will deliver $10 billion in flexible, affordable capital to small businesses. In addition, the package includes a new, $28.6 billion program to support independent bars and restaurants. The Independent Restaurant Coalition has specific resources to prepare restaurants for this grant opportunity.
- State and Local Funding: The package includes $350 billion dollars of state and local funding. This funding can be utilized by states and cities to cover costs or replace revenue due to the pandemic. Broadly, this will help many communities that have suffered budget shortfalls.
- Community Navigator Program: Established through the Small Business Administration (SBA), this $100 million program will provide funding to entities that are assisting small businesses in accessing SBA programs, including private non-profits and local governments.
- Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding: The package provides $3 billion in additional funding to the EDA through the Economic Adjustment Assistance program. This is flexible funding, and all non-profit entities and local governments are eligible.
As you may know, Main Street America has been advocating for support
for revitalization programs through a competitive grant program through the EDA. Our goal is to use national non-profit networks, like Main Street America, to speed the delivery of funds to local entities and to alleviate the administrative burden of state and local Main Street programs in applying for federal funding on a one-by-one basis. We will continue to advocate to Congress and the agency to support the use of national non-profit networks as a potential distribution channel for this funding.
The resources in this package are in addition to broad pandemic support that will have an impact in our lives both in and out of our Main Street work, including direct payments to Americans, unemployment benefits vaccination funding, and other provisions.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available on provisions here that have a direct impact on your work. We also encourage your participation in the Main Street Now conference
, with specific content devoted to “Making the Case” for our Main Street programs to best position Main Street as a key to local economic recovery.