What to Know About the American Rescue Plan

In the latest round of aid to support Americans in need, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in early March. The emergency legislative package supplies critical resources to fund vaccinations and provide direct relief to families and struggling communities affected by the pandemic.

Included in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is an additional $350 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds to help state and local governments mitigate the financial impact of the public health emergency by:

  • keeping first responders and frontline healthcare workers on the job
  • maintaining critical government services
  • and charting a course for economic recovery in the face of evaporating revenues.

Here’s what you need to know about the American Rescue Plan funds now available to your city and how you’ll need to spend those dollars.


How Much of the Stimulus Funding Is Available to Local Governments?

Of the $350 billion earmarked for states and localities, $130.2 billion is set aside for local governments, to be divided equally between counties and cities. The legislation also sets aside $20 billion for federally recognized Tribal governments.


Why the Extra Funding?

Although Congress extended the deadline for accessing the $139 billion in CARES Act funding last December, it’s clear that local governments will continue to see economic damage in the coming years. In fact, the Brookings Institute projects that state and local government revenues will decline by $467 billion between 2020 and the end of 2022.

The American Rescue Plan will help government officials offset those losses, prevent future layoffs, improve the quality of their government services, and place essential infrastructure projects either delayed or canceled because of the pandemic back on the docket.


How Much Time Is There to Use ARP Funding?

State and local governments must use the funds they receive by December 31, 2024.


What Can the Funds Be Used For?

There are four categories of use cases in place for American Rescue Plan funding:

  1. To respond to or mitigate negative economic impacts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  2. To cover costs incurred as a result of the emergency.
  3. To replace revenue lost, delayed, or decreased as a result of the emergency.
  4. To address the negative economic impacts of the emergency.

For a deeper dive into how your city can put American Rescue Plan funds to use, check out the U.S. Treasury Department’s fact sheet.


Why You Can Procure OpenCounter With ARP Funding

From optimizing your permitting services to driving economic development in your city and reducing the cost of your operations, OpenCounter is ready to partner with your agency and make it easier to do the critical work your team performs every day.

Learn more about how you can use ARP funding to transform your city’s permitting with OpenCounter.