City Deploys Additional $18 Million in CARES Act Funds

Published on May 11, 2021

DENVER – The City and County of Denver will release an additional $18 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to support residents, workers and local businesses impacted by COVID-19. This is the city’s fifth disbursement of federal CRF dollars authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and may only be used to cover expenses related to the local COVID-19 pandemic response.

“Our goal in recovery is to surpass where we were before COVID-19 set us back, and to build back in a way that creates a broader foundation for more people to achieve opportunity,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “To ensure that we really do build back better and sustain this recovery, we are continuing to prioritize support for our community, workers small businesses and public health response.”

Denver will use $18 million in CRF funds for the following additional supports:

  • Economic Recovery for Workers & Businesses: $5,055,000
    • Financial support for 200-300 artists and 25-28 venues
    • Funding to help retain and rehire workers in the restaurant and event industries
    • Increase availability of laptops and hot spots in the community
    • Direct support for individuals and communities, including children, families, older adults, First Nations people, people with disabilities and immigrants & refugees
    • Support for women- and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits
    • Eviction legal defense support and mediation services for small businesses affected by COVID
    • Funding for childcare providers and Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) childcare providers in the Westwood, Montbello and East Colfax neighborhoods
  • Public Health Response: $3,023,600
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies and equipment, especially in the city’s recreation centers as they begin to reopen
    • Air sterilization equipment installation at city-owned buildings and venues
    • Reopening communications regarding COVID-19 public health measures
    • Support for food stewards at the Denver Sheriff Department
    • Additional funds for Temporary Shared Streets initiative
  • Food Assistance: $2,901,128
    • Meals for an additional 2 million individuals
  • Individual Support: $2,800,000
    • Additional financial support for workers through the Left Behind Workers Fund
    • Utility Assistance to address overdue payments for those having difficulty accessing traditional forms of assistance
  • Housing Support: $2,500,000
    • Support to transition 150 people from emergency shelter into stable housing
  • City Operations: $1,773,988
    • Providing laptops for remote workers
    • Extending cyber-security tools, licenses, and technology maintenance agreements
    • Making technology upgrades to enable hybrid remote and in-person events and work environments
    • Support for the City’s and City Council’s public health community outreach work

The city presented the proposed program funding to City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee on Tuesday. Some program contracts and individual supports will require City Council approval.

The city also today released an updated CRF expenditure dashboard that includes not only how funds from the CRF portion of the CARES Act have been allocated, but also the outcomes produced to date from the infusion of those dollars into the community.

The city developed a phased deployment strategy to ensure the funds were maximized and available to support Denver residents, nonprofits, and businesses throughout the pandemic. Denver received $126.8 million in CRF dollars on April 21, 2020. A Phase 1 deployment of funds, announced on May 29, 2020, totaled $18.2 million. Phase 2 funds, announced on Aug. 6, 2020, totaled $25.76 million, Phase 3 funds, announced on Oct. 20, 2020, totaled $12.58 million; and Phase 4 funds, announced Dec. 10, 2020, totaled $5.3 million.

The city is currently reserving $4,205,902 for additional pandemic response needs that may arise in the next several months as well as $22,702,741 in CRF funds for emergency shelter operations. Those funds are expected to be eligible for Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) at which time additional dollars may be released.

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