Catherine Geanuracos
December 22, 2020

Set up and complete a CARES Act local grant program before the end of 2020

Communities across the country have been struggling to spend their CARES act funding before the end of 2020. While everyone is hoping that Congress extends the deadline to expend funds, people around the country need help with rent and other living expenses now.

If you have CARES Act funding that hasn't been spent, it's not impossible to set up a grant application workflow, open it to your community, review the applications, and issue funds before the end of 2020.

Here's how Estacada, Oregon made it happen for their community.

  • Monday December 14: Elected officials decide that the priority is to get funds into the pockets of local residents before the end of 2020.
  • Tuesday December 15: Economic Development Director Matt Lorenzen sets up a draft grant application workflow on CityGrows and tests it internally with City staff.
  • Wednesday December 16th: Program is announced through City website and local media alert.
  • Thursday December 17: Program applications are open to local residents for 8 hours. 182 applications are received (Estacada's population is approximately 3500 people).
  • Friday December 18th: City staff are reviewing and approving application.
  • Before the end of 2020- Pre-paid debit cards will be sent out to eligible applicants.

Matt from Estacada said, "This program will disburse CARES funds into the community to help people in financial distress. We wouldn't have been able to do it, and do it well, without CityGrows." The Estacada HOPE (Household Offering Program Estacada) FUNDING will provide $500 prepaid Visa debit cards to help impacted households pay for:

  • Dependent care
  • Food
  • Household supplies
  • Medicine and/or health supplies
  • Rent and non-City utility payments
  • Transportation costs
  • Other household expenses

Here's the good news -the CityGrows team can clone Estacada's Resident Grant Application (or York PA's Local Business Relief application) into any CityGrows account (just message us using our online chat feature after you create a new account using this link.) That means you can customize the application and announce the program on Monday 12/21, accept applications on 12/22, review them on 12/23, and issue checks on 12/24 or Monday 12/28.

CityGrows has a free 30 day trial period so there is NO COST for any government using our software for this purpose between now and the end of the year.

There are a lot of people in your who need help at the end of 2020. CityGrows wants you to use our technology to give people and businesses in your community a boost for 2021. Let's work together on some small holiday miracles for our communities.

Catherine Geanuracos

Catherine is the CEO and a Co-Founder of CityGrows. She's dedicated to supporting local governments and helping them improve outcomes for their residents and staff members. She is a former VP of the City of Los Angeles Innovation and Performance Commission and co-founder of LA's Code for America Brigade Hack for LA. She's based in Los Angeles.

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