It’s not as easy to give away federal money as it seems.

The City of Greensboro received $29.2 million in American Rescue Plan funding in May and set a deadline of Nov. 5 for applications for a share of that funding.

In response, the city received 237 applications totaling requests for $424 million.

City departments alone accounted for requests totaling almost $102 million.

In response to the overwhelming demand, the city announced on Tuesday, Dec. 21 that it would give the applicants an opportunity to revise their applications based on the available funding.  In other words, request less funding.

Applicants should receive an email from the city with a link to submit a revised application, which is due by Friday, Jan. 7.  Applicants are not required to submit a revised request and, if they believe the proposed program could not be completed with less funding, applicants can ignore the opportunity to submit a revised request and stick with the original.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said in a press release, “The need in our community far exceeds what the City is able to give.  We want to give organizations the opportunity to review their proposals to make them as competitive as possible within our available funding.  We are pleased that through federal funding we are able to fund organizations and projects within the city that we normally couldn’t do through the regular budget process.”

The message to applicants is pretty clear that they have a better chance of getting some of the available funding if they lower the amount of the request.

The City of Greensboro is scheduled to receive an additional $29.2 million in the second round of ARP funding by May of 2022.  A similar process where applications for that funding are requested is expected.  So if an organization is not awarded funding for the 2021 funding, they should get a second bite at the apple in 2022.