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Navigate Federal Funding Uncertainty

Helping clients recover COVID-19-related costs

Our COVID-19 funding experts are advising on over $4B in Coronavirus Relief Funds on behalf of more than 50 state, county and city governments.

Last year the CARES Act established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief fund (CRF) available to cities and counties with populations over 500,000, US territories, and Tribal governments to cover expenses. Funding helps local governments recover from costs associated with the pandemic. However, navigating the CARES Act can be difficult. Local governments must understand how to access the funding and how to file grant applications, and they need to be able to do it quickly and accurately to ensure funding gets to where it’s needed.

The CRF is a grant program for state, county and municipal governments and is subject to a federal audit process to ensure regulatory compliance – a process our experts know all too well. We help build your CRF grant management processes and systems as well as assess the audit-readiness of your program.

Case Studies

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Witt O’Brien’s experts developed a two-part curriculum to meet varying levels of experience with Federal funding programs.

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We help counties fast-track the funding request evaluation and decision process by enlisting trusted healthcare and CARES funding experts.

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Our Experts Help Lead the Sedgwick County’s COVID-19 Response

Witt O’Brien’s helped the county devise a comprehensive community assessment and Notice of Funding Opportunity to prioritize the needs of local governments, as well as the public and private sector entities.

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What governments need to know about the CARES ACT

Witt O’Brien’s is currently supporting State and local governments across the United States optimize use of federal assistance, offering an experienced voice and force multiplier to help deliver timely and impactful COVID-19 programs and initiatives.

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Developing a Plan to Meet the Deadline

The CARES Act requires that payments from the CRF only be used to cover expenses that are necessary due to the public health emergency concerning the COVID–19. To further clarify, these costs most not have been accounted for in the government’s budget approved as of March 27, 2020 and all expenses must have been incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020 – therefore all funding must be use by the end of this year.

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Coronavirus Relief Fund Payroll Expense Eligibility Policy Brief

Funding is available for necessary, one-time expenses that were previously unbudgeted but incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the overall guidance appears to allow broad flexibility to determine the appropriate use of payments received from the CRF. However, as it relates to payroll expenses, guidance indicates that only the costs of employees directly responding to the public health emergency are considered eligible payroll costs. This means other employees likely won’t be determined to be substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the public health emergency.

Witt O’Brien’s experts have a comprehensive understanding of cost recovery/funding optimization framework and have developed eligibility assessment tools to guide local governments in identifying the best fit for each COVID-19-related expense.

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