CARES Act and grant funding: How it will immediately benefit local communities

Here is a breakdown of the CARES Act and associated grant funding for local governments and communities


President Donald Trump hands a pen to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., after signing the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. Image: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The CARES Act provides $150 billion for a Coronavirus Relief Fund to make payments to states, tribal governments, and direct payments to some, very large units of local government within 30 days of the enacted date. This bill was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

The below breaks down the Act and how it will impact grants for state and local governments responding to the coronavirus.

  • About $139 billion will be allocated by population of a state/units of local government.
    • No local government may receive more than 45% of a state’s proportion amount.
    • Each state will receive a minimum of $1.25 billion. Estimated state allocations can be found here.
  • $8 billion to tribal governments
  • $3 billion to U.S. territories including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the North Mariana Islands, and American Samoa
  • $35 million for Treasury oversight

Funds can be used for costs that:

  • Were necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19;
  • Were not in the budget most recently approved as of the date of enactment;
  • Were incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020.


Virus response resources

  • $45.4 billion for a FEMA Disaster Relief Fund that includes $400 million in grants for firefighters ($100 million in AFG), emergency managers, and emergency food programs
  • $1.5 billion for CDC State and Local Preparedness grants
  • $955 million for HHS Aging and Disabled program resources and grants
  • $850 million for DOJ Byrne Grants and Byrne Justice Assistance Grants
  • $425 million for HHS SAMHSA funding for behavioral health clinics and emergency grants
  • $200 million for Federal Communications Commission telehealth program grants

Social services resources

  • $3.5 billion in Child Care and Development Grants
  • $1 billion in Community Service Block Grants
  • $900 million in Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • $750 million for Head Start
  • $345 million in Department of Labor Dislocated Worker program resources and community grants

Housing assistance resources

  • $4 billion for HUD Homeless Assistance Grants
  • $1.25 billion in HUD tenant-based and $1 billion in project-based rental assistance resources
  • $685 million for public housing authority operations

Education System Stabilization Resources through $31 billion in education stabilization resources to states to support pre-K, K-12, and higher education systems

State & local election assistance grants via Election Assistance Commission at $400 million

Economic & infrastructure rebuilding resources

  • $25 billion for 100% no-match, FTA “Transit Infrastructure Grants”
  • $10 billion in 100% no-match, FAA Grants-in-Aid for Airports
  • $5 billion for HUD CDBG grants
  • $1.5 billion for Economic Development Administration grants
  • $75 million for National Endowment for the Arts grants and $75 million for National Endowment for the Humanities grants

Support for local businesses

  • $350 billion for forgivable SBA Section 7(a) loans to small businesses to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utility payments
  • $192 million for grants for Small Business Development Center
  • $48 million for no-match grants to Women’s Business Centers
  • $10 million for Minority Business Centers


Sarah Wilson is the Vice President of the Grant Division at Lexipol. She has been with the company since 2007 and started the Grant services division in 2009. The mission of Lexipol is to use content and technology to create safer communities and empower the men, women and organizations that serve them. Sarah’s team is responsible for generating nearly $500M in funding and currently servicing a network of 60k departments and municipalities for grant help as well as supporting 60 corporate sponsors. Prior to Lexipol, Sarah held various marketing and organizational management positions within financial services. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis. A west coaster her entire life, Sarah was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in Southern California and currently calls Sonoma County home.

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