COVID-19 Funding

Summary of 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding and the latest information on the American Rescue Plan Act funding.

American Rescue Plan Act Funding

By mid-2022, Boulder will receive $20.15 million as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) local government recovery allocation from the federal government.

The city has until the end of 2024 to formally commit funds and until 2026 to spend them. ARPA is designed to help communities and local governments recover from the pandemic, especially those who have been disproportionately impacted.

The city will spend a portion of the funding in 2021 to meet critical, immediate needs while developing a long-term plan for the remainder that supports community recovery, captures community input and maximizes impact by working with local partners.

Funding Guidelines

In addition to federal guidelines for how ARPA dollars can be spent, the city has developed its own guiding principles for the funding, which incorporate the city’s equity, sustainability and resilience goals, using the city’s Sustainability + Resilience Framework and Racial Equity Instrument.

There are several ways these funds cannot be spent, including funding debt, deposits to rainy day funds and general infrastructure (outside of water, sewer or broadband). For more information, see the ARPA fact sheet.

Immediate Funding

About $3 million of the funding has been approved for immediate needs and will go toward programs to support those most impacted by the pandemic, including:

  • Emergency rental assistance and critical human service needs
  • Small business and local economic recovery assistance, including direct support to the hardest hit industries
  • Utility bill assistance
  • Addressing disparities in digital access by helping community members living in Boulder Housing Partner sites to obtain free high-speed internet access
  • Some city service restoration and updating virtual capability in city facilities

An additional $1 million is reserved for emerging public health needs that may arise in the coming months.

Next Steps

The remainder of the funding, about $16 million, will go toward transformative initiatives with longer-term impacts to meet our most pressing community challenges. A cross-departmental team is currently researching potential projects for the funding and planning for direct outreach to key partners, close collaboration with Boulder County and the state and community engagement opportunities to gather feedback that will guide its efforts.

2020 Coronavirus Funding

The City of Boulder received over $3.5 million dollars in The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. To ensure an equitable community recovery, these funds were heavily used to support impacted individuals, local businesses and non-profits throughout the pandemic.

COVID-19’s health and economic impacts were felt by people across our community. The city’s goal was to help community members alleviate displacement, hunger and lack of access to essential services due to COVID-19. About 50% of the total funding was set aside for local organizations working to benefit the community’s most vulnerable populations. Areas of focus include homelessness services, food assistance, rental assistance, mental and behavioral health, financial assistance and bridging the digital divide.

Local businesses were also heavily impacted by the pandemic and to support the local economy, the city dedicated 45% of the funding to the business community. This support came in the form of grants and short-term programs designed to alleviate the economic burden of the pandemic.