City Deploys Additional $4 Million in COVID-19 Emergency Funds
Published on December 10, 2020
The City and County of Denver will release an additional $4 million in COVID-19 emergency funds to support residents, workers and businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. The city’s COVID-19 Emergency Special Revenue Fund (SRF) will be the funding source after being reimbursed for eligible expenses covered by federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. CRF funds may only be used to cover eligible expenses incurred March 1, 2020 to Dec. 30, 2020, meaning all funds must be expended by Dec. 30. The city developed a phased deployment strategy to ensure the funds were maximized and available to support Denver residents, nonprofits and businesses throughout the year.
Denver will use $4 million COVID-19 Emergency Special Revenue Funds for the following additional supports:
- $1.5M additional CRF to provide grants to local small businesses that have negatively affected by closures due to COVID-19 public health orders.
- $1 million CRF support for Restaurant and Hotel Workers who live in Denver and have been laid off, furloughed or had a severe reduction in income due to COVID-19. Funds will be deployed through a partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation to ensure rapid deployment directly to workers.
- $1.5 million additional support for the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program to support residents impacted by COVID to address the continued, growing need for rental and/or utility relief, and to help prevent involuntary displacement and a potential tide of future evictions.
“Many people and families are hurting personally and financially due to the coronavirus, and it’s imperative we work in coordination with our state leaders to provide additional relief for our residents and local businesses,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We are doing everything we can to maximize our local funding and resources to support the Denver community hardest hit by the pandemic, but without an additional federal stimulus dollars from Congress, tens of thousands of Denver workers will lose their pandemic unemployment, businesses will lose tax credits and deductions that have helped them avoid laying off or furloughing more workers. Congress must act to keep our economy out of a double-dip recession and even more pain and struggle for our residents.”
Denver received $126.8 million in CRF dollars on April 21, 2020. A Phase 1 deployment of funds, announced on May 29, totaled $18.72 million. Phase 2 funds, announced on Aug. 6, totaled $26.68 million, and Phase 3 funds, announced on Oct. 20, totaled $12.5 million. The city has also allocated $41.3 million to support citywide operations relating to the pandemic such as offsetting emergency payroll and operations expenses, making public health improvements to buildings, technology to support remote city workers, and to match FEMA funds provided for emergency response ($15M). Any unused CRF citywide and program dollars will be allocated to other eligible 2020 expenses held in general city funds or the COVID-19 Emergency SRF to preserve capacity for emergency and recovery needs into 2021.