On Valentine’s Day, when many people send messages of love, Guilford County government sent out a message asking non-profits, public bodies and other community organizations for proposals to use some of the money that’s been coming in from the federal government.  

The county announced that it’s opening up a “Growth and Recovery Request for Ideas Process” to spend some of the $100 million-plus from American Rescue Plan (ARP)  funding.

The money can go to non-profits, other tax-exempt organizations, municipal corporations and public bodies for any of a series of purposes outlined by the US Department of Treasury.

According to the request that county officials sent out on Monday, Feb. 14, the process is “designed for collaborative project proposals to assist the community with both near and long-term growth and recovery and response to COVID-19 and its negative economic impacts.”

Submissions are now being accepted. The proposal period will be open through Sunday, March 13 at 11:59 p.m.

Last year, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and staff, led by County Manager Mike Halford, began the process of determining how to best use $104 million in federal funding that came from ARP’s “Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.”

 County attorneys have been working hard to figure out exactly how all that money can be spent – a complicated task – and the US Department of Treasury has identified five “focus areas” for ARP funding. Within those categories, Guilford County government has some flexibility as to how to use the funding.  Those five categories are:

(1) Support the public health response and/or expenditures.

(2) Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency.

(3) Replace lost public sector revenue.

(4) Provide premium pay for essential workers.

(5) Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Information regarding eligibility and all other documents are available on Guilford County’s website at arpaRFI.guilfordcountync.gov.

Organizations will be able to ask questions before completing an online form during an RFI virtual workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m.  Those interested can also email ARPA_RFI@guilfordcountync.govwith their questions.