This program has expired
Small Business Recovery Assistance Program. Small businesses in Los Alamos County have faced widespread challenges due to the pandemic, including shutdown periods, revenue declines, or increased costs. In response to the pandemic health emergency, many of the County’s small business community regular patrons, including those working at our schools, local government, and the Los Alamos National Lab, were required to work remotely from their homes to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, small businesses had to address staffing, supply chain, and increased business expense issues resulting in unplanned expenses, loss of revenues, and deferred reinvestment in their own business. The Small Business Recovery Assistance Program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act
ARPA Act. As the country began to address the health emergency, the pandemic's negative economic impact raged. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was passed [link]. Like the CARES Act, this $1.9 trillion package was also established to combat the negative public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and the business community. COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike CARES, in addition to addressing the negative impacts resulting from or exacerbated by the health emergency, ARPA also was established to provide aid to tourism, travel, hospitality, and other impacted business, attractions, and established business districts; categories easily associated with many of the County’s small businesses.
The U.S. Department of Treasury set up the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLFRF) to provide federal fiscal recovery aid for state and local governments. Amounts paid to states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and eligible units of local government are based on population as provided in the ARP Act. Of the $350 billion provided through CSLFRF, $65.1 billion will be distributed to counties based on the county share of the U.S. population. Based on Los Alamos County's population and its share of the U.S. population, the County was allocated $3,762,201, of which the Los Alamos County Council set aside $2 million for grant distribution to qualifying small businesses in the County.
County Program Preparation and Development. While County staff had initially hoped to start accepting applications in May 2022 to help our businesses to recover, we paused. Federally funded programs, where the rules are broad, and there are multiple reimbursement categories, require strong internal controls to assure compliance with regulations. ARPA rules have been challenging for all jurisdictions, and it is in everyone’s best interest to be sure we can comply with the multitude of compliance requirements.
In preparation for the Program, County staff reviewed the ARPA law, its related CSLFRF 447-page Final Rule, and supplementary documentation most recently release on July 22, 2022, and conducted focus groups with around fifty local business owners. All exercises were used to develop this Small Business Recovery Assistance Program and conducted to protect applicants.
The County-funded portal, utilizing none of the proceeds from the $2 million ARPA funds allocated to the County’s small business community, has been developed to facilitate the application process, utilizing online tools already owned and managed by the County. The portal streamlines tracking, eligibility review, and workflow approvals, provides the County tools to monitor compliance and helps automate recipient and sub-recipient monitoring and reporting requirements to maximize funding to the qualifying businesses.