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County offers $4 million in grant opportunities to local nonprofits, small ag producers

Chelan County commissioners announced that a public application period for $4 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding is now open.

The American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, provides local governments COVID-relief money to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy as communities across the country continue to recover from the pandemic.

The Board of County Commissioners is investing $4 million of its overall $14.9 million in ARPA funding into the community via grants to local nonprofits and community agencies as well as to small agricultural operations.

“We’re excited to open up this opportunity for our community partners, many of whom have struggled during the pandemic,” said Commissioner Kevin Overbay. “We’re especially excited to see the suggested projects and potential impacts this money will have on Chelan County.”

The online application period is open through Sept. 30. Applications are available via the county’s website.

Commissioners expect to review all applications in October and November and then announce awarded grants by Dec. 5.

Two grant applications are posted to the county’s website. Of the $4 million, $3 million will be allocated to community agencies and nonprofits serving Chelan County. The remaining $1 million will be allocated to small agricultural businesses that have experienced negative financial impacts due to COVID. Eligible small ag businesses (businesses must have no more than 500 employees) can apply for up to $50,000 in operating grants.

“In 2020, we committed $920,000 in federal CARES Act funds to local businesses, in the form of $5,000 grants,” Overbay said. “The board agreed that we needed to take a different direction with the ARPA funds, by focusing on our ag producers and our community partners.”

Commissioners have proposed four goals when determining how to spend the ARPA dollars:

  • Strengthening county services
  • Creating healthy communities
  • Caring for families
  • Supporting small agricultural businesses

Federal guidelines allow the county to take up to a $10 million standard allowance to spend on government services. Commissioners plan to spend $10 million at the county level to invest in programs and infrastructure.

At this time, commissioners are hearing from county department heads and elected officials who have proposed ways to use the money on capital projects or county programs that will better serve our citizens. A decision on where those funds will be spent is expected in the coming months.

The county already has allocated $300,000 in ARPA funding to county projects and $560,000 to the Chelan-Douglas Health District for capital projects and operations.

Learn more about the application process on the county's ARPA webpage, where the links to the applications are available.

Last Updated: 08/01/2022 02:00 PM

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