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Cumberland ARP Committee Receives Update on Nonprofit and Small Business Programs

Sep 12, 2022, 15:13 PM by Loren Bymer

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners American Rescue Plan (ARP) Committee met Tuesday, September 6 to receive updates regarding the County’s Aid to Nonprofits and Small Business Economic Assistance programs.

During the meeting, staff presented the Committee with additional information that was requested from 21 nonprofit organizations that submitted proposals as part of the Aid to Nonprofits program. Staff also reviewed the federal requirements that dictate the process for considering Nonprofit funding requests due to the fact that proposals were submitted through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

Following the presentation, the Committee tasked staff with conducting a further review of the proposals to look at those that are duplicating programs the County is already providing using ARP funds and bringing back a refined funding recommendation that takes this duplication into account, along with additional metrics for each proposal. The Committee did not move any funding recommendations forward on Tuesday and noted that the process is still ongoing with additional questions that need to be answered before a recommendation can be made for consideration by the full Board of Commissioners.

As part of Cumberland County’s $65.2 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Board of Commissioners approved using $3.5 million for nonprofit organizations to conduct programs and projects to help the County recover from and respond to COVID-19 and its negative impacts.

The County issued an RFP for this program in January 2022 and received 42 responsive proposals from 38 nonprofit organizations. Of those proposals, two proposals from Cape Fear Valley Mobile Integrated Services will be funded as sub-awards through the County’s Substance Use Services and Behavioral Health Services ARP projects. The County’s legal staff determined that 19 other proposals were ineligible for sub-award, leaving 21 proposals.

The remaining 21 proposals were reviewed by an ARP Nonprofit Review Panel comprised of County staff, and were ranked based on the Responsive Proposal Review Guidelines approved by the Board of Commissioners in May 2022. The rankings were presented to the ARP Committee on August 5, 2022, and the Committee directed staff to obtain additional information regarding the 21 proposals, which was compiled and presented to the ARP Committee during Tuesday’s meeting.

Staff also provided the Committee with an update on the Small Business Assistance Program. The Board of Commissioners allocated $3.5 million of the County’s ARP allocation to this program to provide small businesses with financial assistance of up to $50,000 each to address the negative impacts of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners has approved awards for 39 of the 160 applications submitted by small businesses. County staff are currently working to finalize and execute contracts with the awardees. An additional 57 applications have been disqualified due to not meeting eligibility requirements or being responsive to requests for additional information, and 63 applications are currently awaiting a secondary review by staff to determine whether or not they may be funded.