Accessing Recovery

Accessing Recovery for Main Street

COVID-19 Main Street Resources

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A Key Priority

The American Rescue Plan (ARP), signed into law on March 11, 2021, is a massive, $1.9 trillion dollar plan to help steer the nation’s recovery from pandemic impacts across a variety of terrains: housing, education, healthcare, and, most importantly for Main Street communities, additional small business relief and significant funding to states, counties and cities.

We believe that Main Street revitalization is a key priority for local recovery. And we aim to help every community understand how to utilize the ARP, particularly state and local funding to help build a stronger, healthier commercial district. On this page, find tools and resources to dive into the potential for this funding. We will update this page as new resources or opportunities become available.

Small Business Administration Resources

Several provisions of the ARP bear direct resources for Main Street communities and small businesses:

Economic Development Administration

Main Street America has been seeking specific federal support for Main Street communities through the Economic Development Administration since the summer of 2020.

An additional $3 billion was allocated to EDA through ARP. While we continue to seek opportunities for direct support to Main Street programs, these funds may be a resource for Main Street programs, particularly in working with regional partners.

ARP State and Local Funding

The ARP offers $350 billion to states, counties, and local governments, guaranteeing funding to all 19,000 municipalities in the country. For many communities, this funding is urgently needed to fill budget shortfalls. For many, the funding will exceed the direct impacts of the pandemic to local budgets; it represents one of the most transformational opportunities for communities in decades. States, counties and cities will be looking to plan strategic investments based on community-driven priorities.

  • Funding will be allocated in two tranches: once in mid-May 2021 and once a year later.
  • All 19,000 municipalities in the U.S. receive funding. Click here to learn the estimated amount of funding allocated to your city.
  • Cities below 50,000 population will receive their allocation through their state. Cities over 50,000 in population will receive funding directly from the Treasury.
  • Rule writing is not yet complete; local leaders must continue to stay alert for new guidance on applicable uses and reporting requirements.

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Be at the table. Develop local strategies that include Main Street priorities and the voice of district stakeholders. Municipalities and counties may be forming or reorganizing response task forces as decision-making and strategy development bodies for ARP funding. Main Street organizations should be positioned as a recovery partner to advocate for district needs as planning efforts coalesce.

Advocate. Speak up for direct programmatic support to fill Main Street budget gaps. Main Street organizations may look to this funding as a possible source to cover budget shortfalls experienced as a result of the pandemic. While rule writing has not been completed yet, it would seem clear that funds may be passed through to non-profit entities and that local economic recovery is a key use of these funds.

Be prepared. Come with ideas to deploy ARP funding in support of Main Street projects aimed at economic recovery. While guidance is still forthcoming, the broad potential use of these funds will enable communities to innovate in support of small businesses and district revitalization. Main Street programs should connect downtown stakeholder needs with local priorities to identify key projects that support economic recovery. Tell us what you're hearing! We are interested in understanding how ARP funding is being discussed and deployed in your community. Use this form to share with us.

Make the Case for Your Main Street


Document Your Impact

Use this worksheet to document the myriad ways in which your org supported small businesses and the community during the pandemic.

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Hone Your Talking Points

Use this template to plug in your local economic impact and personalize for your community.

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View Recording

As a first next step, view a recording of our recent webinar to hear more about the anticipated use of funds and ways to be prepared. 

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More Resources