How has the City engaged the public in the American Rescue Plan?
The City of Providence has hosted public Task Force meetings with a section for public comment, hosted 5 Community Conversations, 2 Business Roundtables (recordings of these events here), created widely-shared a public feedback survey in 8 languages, door-knocked in hard-hit zipcodes, heard over 10 City Department presentations at public Task Force meetings and created a portal on the website specifically for businesses and organizations to submit more detailed proposals.
What topics have been discussed or shared to date? What’s coming up?
- 8/6: Planning and Development
- 8/13 Art, Culture, and Tourism
- 8/20 Workforce Development/Economic Opportunity
- 8/27 Public Safety/Diversionary Services
- 9/3 Housing/Homelessness
- 9/7 Small Business Roundtable
- 9/10 Health Equity/Food Security
- 9/17 Economic Stability/Youth and Community Investments
- 9/21 Anchor Business Roundtable
- 9/24 Community Conversation Report-Back; Task Force Discussion and Planning; Sustainability; Parks
- 10/1 Government Modernization; Community Proposal Presentations
- 10/8 Community Proposal Presentations; Discuss survey/event findings
- 10/15 Finalize and vote on recommendations
What is the Task Force’s charge?
The purpose of the Task Force is to provide guidance and make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council as recovery planning efforts get underway in the wake of COVID-19. This task force will provide critical insights into balancing long- and short-term equitable and impactful deployments of stimulus relief funds in the City of Providence. This is laid out in more detail in the Guiding Principles Document.
The task force will be sharing recommendations with the City that will be formulated into a report. The recommendations will be used to guide the City in developing programs and a budget for the American Rescue Plan funds.
How will the City use the Task Force’s recommendations?
The recommendations will be shared with the Mayor and the City Council. These recommendations will guide the Administration in working with the City Council to build upon the American Rescue Plan ordinance that was approved as part of the City’s FY2022 budget. This ordinance will then need to be introduced, discussed, and passed by the City Council in order for the funds to be programmed. If the task force can meet the October 15 deadline to provide recommendations, then it is the City’s goal to have an amended approved American Rescue Plan ordinance by December 2021.
How much funding is available through the American Rescue Plan? How much funding has the City allocated to date? How much funding remains to be allocated?
Out of the $166 million received, nearly $43 million has already been allocated via the first American Rescue Plan Act spending ordinance in July of 2021. These funds were used to address urgent priorities for the City of Providence, including anti-violence measures, homelessness intervention, and replacing over $19 million in tax revenue that was lost due to COVID-19 lockdown and which is essential for the functioning of basic city services. This leaves over $123 million to be allocated in the next ordinance. $20 million will be allocated for lost tax revenue recovery in the next fiscal year and $10 million in the following, which would leave over $93 million for the Task Force to recommend spending on.
How will the City divide and allocate the funds in the next ordinance?
The next ordinance will be informed by the Task Force’s recommendations. After the City receives the recommendations from the Task Force—informed by community engagement outlined above, public input, presentations provided by the various city departments and staff—an ordinance will be drafted and passed by the City Council. The public will have opportunities to engage with public City Council meetings where American Rescue Plan funds are being discussed.
Apply for a Small Business Grant
Beginning October 15, 2021, you are eligible to apply for a microgrant of $2,500 if your business was negatively impacted by COVID-19. The grant program is made possible with the City’s American Rescue Plan funding.
Organizations or individuals who have detailed, proposed uses of funds for the Providence Rescue Plan are invited to submit proposals.