Hamilton county CARES

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Funding Dashboard for Hamilton County, Ohio

CARES Act Funding Dashboard screenshot

About this dashboard: In response to the economic fall-out caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act") establishing a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide payments to State, Local and Tribal governments navigating the negative and devastating impact of the Pandemic. Hamilton County received $142 Million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. This dashboard provides a summary view of how the CARES funds are being distributed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Hamilton County CARES dashboard will be updated on a weekly basis. Elements of the dashboard could be modified as the Hamilton County CARES projects develop.

Click here to view the dashboard.

 Sign up for CARES Act funding program email alerts.


Arts and Culture Organization Relief Program

Hamilton County CARES Arts and Cultural Organizations Relief Program

Hamilton County has received $142 million in CARES Act funding to combat the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 in the community. Many non-profit arts and cultural organizations had to cease operations or had their operations severely diminished due to Ohio’s mandated closures. As such, Hamilton County has allocated up to $3.5 million of its CARES Act funding to help provide relief to arts and cultural organizations impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency (“Program”). The Program will be administered by ArtsWave (sets up online application, answers questions, assists with application review). Hamilton County will ultimately make all decisions on award and award amount. In addition, all payments will be made directly by Hamilton County to the organization.

CARES Act funding can only be used to cover costs of necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. In addition, costs must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. All costs must comply with any Guidance, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers issued by the federal government or State of Ohio, which includes without limitation, U.S. Treasury, Office of Inspector General, the Ohio Auditor of State, and the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.

For Assistance, US Department of Treasury’s guidance on the Coronavirus Relief Fund can be found as follows:

Treasury Guidance to State and Local Governments page link: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Guidance-for-State-Territorial-Local-and-Tribal-Governments.pdf

U.S. Treasury Guidance FAQ: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf

Eligibility

In order to apply for funding from the Program, arts and cultural organizations must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Its principal place of business and location(s) where services where operations occur is in Hamilton County.
  • Has been in operation and provided arts and cultural programming since at least January 2019.
  • Organized as a non-profit entity under the laws of the State of Ohio and recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Registered with State of Ohio Attorney General’s Office www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Business/Services-for-Charities/Charitable-Registration
  • Primary mission is to provide arts and cultural programming that is open and accessible to the general public.
  • Has a DUNS number prior to being awarded grant funding. A DUNS number can be requested here: https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do
  • Is currently in compliance with all state laws and treasury regulations, including those applicable to its status as an organization recognized as a tax exempt entity under I.R.C. 501(c)(3) and a non-profit organization under Ohio law.
  • Has the ability to demonstrate and document that from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020, it has incurred costs or will incur costs due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.
  • Will not use Hamilton County CARES funding in place of or instead of local, state, federal, or other government funds already designated or used for that expense or activity.
  • Has prior experience in successfully managing federal, state or local financial assistance and/or grant funding.

Ineligible Service Providers and Programs

The following entities are NOT eligible to apply for CARES funding from the Program:

  • Organizations whose primary mission is not arts related (e.g. social service, religious, education, science, parks, nature, or health organizations).
  • Social clubs and membership only organizations.
  • Arts or cultural programming entities that are not open and accessible to the general public.

Funding Amounts and Payment by Hamilton County

Requests and award levels will be based on the total amount of revenue realized by the organization for its fiscal year ending in 2019:

Revenue >$1M     Maximum request of $100,000 
Revenue $300K-$1M    Maximum request of $50,000
Revenue <$300K     Maximum request of $25,000
 

Minimum request of $5,000

Hamilton County, at all times, reserves the right to amend funding levels based on applications received and to extend any deadlines.

Required Documentation

  • IRS 501(c)3 determination letter;
  • Proof of Business Address (this can be evidenced by records such as a mortgage statement, utility bill, insurance statement, and property tax bills);
  • Most recent IRS 990 tax return;
  • FY 2019 Financial Information sufficient to evidence revenue;
  • Hamilton County Vendor Form;
  • Eligible Expense Form which breaks down expenses between those incurred before the time of the application and those anticipated to be incurred after the date of application but prior to December 30, 2020; and
  • Source Documentation.

    All source documentation for expenses that have been incurred at the time of the application must be submitted as a part of the application process. For those expenses anticipated to be incurred after the date of application but prior to December 30, 2020, source documentation must be submitted at the time a close-out report is submitted. Close-out reports are due December 15, 2020.

    For all expenses, source documentation shall be in the form of paid invoices and canceled checks, bank statements, or similar documentation that evidences payment of Eligible Expenses, as described below. All source documentation must be maintained by organization for at least five (5) years.

If the organization cannot properly substantiate its Eligible Expenses or has received funding for an ineligible expense, the organization will be required to repay the undocumented or ineligible expense, as the case may be.

Eligible Expenses

Organizations shall only submit for reimbursement those costs and expenses that comply with any Guidance, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers issued by the federal government or State of Ohio, which includes without limitation, U.S. Treasury, Office of Inspector General, the Ohio Auditor of State, and the Ohio Office of Budget and Management. Organizations are cautioned that guidance changes frequently and later versions may become available.

Under all circumstances, organizations are ultimately responsible for the determination of the eligibility of expenses that it submits for reimbursement.

By way of example only, the following may constitute Eligible Expenses:

  • Business Interruption Costs
    Support to cover general operating expenses related directly to required closures due to COVID-19 such as utilities, security, rent or mortgage payments, and personnel costs.
  • Mitigation Expenses for Re-opening Expenses incurred directly in response to COVID-19 related to re-opening of facilities and offering of public activities. Costs related to preparations for re-opening may include:

    a. COVID-19 training and health testing of staff (including W-2 employees and 1099 independent contractors);
    b. Additional personnel required to manage re-opening health and safety requirements (such as professional cleaning companies, pandemic rules enforcement, etc.);
    c. Communications and marketing efforts specifically to address compliance with COVID-19 requirements;
    d. Purchase of materials including personal protection equipment (PPE), disinfecting supplies, hand sanitizer, and signage production; and
    e. Purchase and implementation of physical accommodations that are mitigation measures specifically in response to COVID-19. The costs for these accommodations (physical barriers and plexiglass protective screens, touchless fixtures and equipment such as faucets, toilets and water fountains, markers for social distancing) are considered eligible expenses but the related construction or installation costs are not eligible for reimbursement under this program.

  • Program Transition Support Expenses incurred to transition to virtual programming. Costs may include: transitioning to an online platform; equipment, systems, and devices purchased specifically to facilitate the COVID-19 related move to virtual programming, including computers, tablets, and video cameras; increased broadband capability/speed (communications services), software apps like (Zoom, GoToMeetings), monthly charges streaming services, etc.). Note that monthly subscription charges can only be reimbursed from March 1 – December 30, 2020.

Ineligible expenses

  • Revenue replacement;
  • Construction costs;
  • Any tax, license or fee obligations payable to any governmental entity businesses;
  • Costs for political activity, including lobbying;
  • For Mitigation Expenses for Re-opening and Program Transition Support – costs that were accounted in the organization’s must recently approved budget as of March 27, 2020;
  • Fundraising;
  • Damages covered by insurance;
  • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services;
  • Workforce bonuses;
  • Severance pay;
  • Legal settlements; 12. Prepayment of expenses for services that extend beyond December 30, 2020;
  • Expenses that were already covered by financial assistance from other county, city, state, or federal forgivable loan or grant programs established in response to COVID-19 or by insurance;
  • All costs which are ineligible per the most recent U.S. Treasury guidance and Frequently Asked Questions:
    https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf
    https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Guidance-for-State-Territorial-Local-and-Tribal-Governments.pdf
  • Any cost or expense not permitted by any state or federal guidance or information.

Application Process

Applications and all Required Documentation must be submitted online through ArtsWave’s grants portal. Instructions and link can be found at https://www.artswave.org/apply-for-funding.

All applications and required documentation are due by October 23, 2020.

A team consisting of ArtsWave employees will review and verify the applications and documentation to ensure the eligibility criteria is met. After review by ArtsWave, Hamilton County will receive the applications and documentation for final review and grant award. All grant applications and documentation are considered public records.

Approval Process

Once approved for funding by Hamilton County, the organization must sign and return the Grant Agreement within 10 calendar days of receipt.

Close-Out Process

Organizations must submit a close-out report and all required source documentation in order to receive funding for any Eligible Expense incurred after the date of application but prior to December 30, 2020, which was detailed on the Initial Eligible Expense Form.

Child Care Provider Relief Program

Hamilton County Commissioners are using CARES Act funding to stabilize Hamilton County child care providers from financial loss associated with operating under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care (TPCC) license as they served children and families from Hamilton County using Publicly Funded Child Care.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Ohio created the TPCC license for child care providers who were providing child care for those working in essential businesses, including healthcare workers. This temporary license (effective March 26 through May 30, 2020) included rule changes needed to ensure the health and safety for children and providers.

Hamilton County will use $2.3 million of its CARES Act funding to assist these child care providers. Specifically, the goal of this program is to ensure the financial viability of child care centers which were open through the pandemic and have had disruption to their current economic model due to social distancing and other additional cost requirements such as cleaning, maintaining PPE equipment etc. Assistance will be provided to childcare providers that meet established eligibility and are able to document a funding gap between revenue and expenses while they operated between March 26 and May 30. 4C for Children, a local child care oversight agency has been contracted to provide support services for this Child Care Provider Reimbursement Initiative.

Eligible Child Care Providers can apply for assistance with 4C for Children by the deadline of August 25th.

More information can be found on the Child Care Provider Relief Program launch news article.

COVID-19 Testing

Hamilton County CARES COVID-19 Testing

Test and Protect logo

Test and Protect is a partnership between Hamilton County, The Health Collaborative, 5 regional health systems and one regional University to:

  • Make testing convenient for those that need it
  • Test people at a location that they can get to (somewhere near you)
  • Get results to those tested as quickly as possible
  • Stop the spread by providing positive case information to public health workers
  • Understand the spread of the disease to better protect and improve the health of all people in Hamilton County

Expanded Public Wi-Fi Assistance Program

Expanded Public Wi-Fi Assistance Program Criteria and Application  

Hamilton County has received $142 million in CARES Act funding to combat the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 in the community. Many public agencies and non-profit organizations located in Hamilton County have provided and will continue to provide essential educational support through FREE public Wi-Fi to Hamilton County residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency. To assist those organizations with necessary expenditures incurred or planned to expand public Wi-Fi services, Hamilton County has allocated up to $750,000 to assist with expanding free public Wi-Fi.

Any organization interested in receiving funding must submit an application by October 30, 2020. All applications will be initially reviewed for completeness and eligibility. If demand for this funding exceeds the applicable allocation(s), applications will be evaluated and scored, as further discussed herein.

Eligible expenses are direct costs for installation of expanded public Wi-Fi access and monthly service through 12/30/2020. No construction costs or any other expenses are eligible.

CARES Act funding can only be used to pay for costs of necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Costs must not have been accounted for in the organization’s most recently approved budget as of March 27, 2020 and must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. All costs must comply with any Guidance, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers issued by the federal government or State of Ohio, which includes without limitation, U.S. Treasury, Office of Inspector General, the Ohio Auditor of State, and the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.

For assistance purposes only, US Department of Treasury’s guidance on the Coronavirus Relief Fund can be found as follows:

Treasury Guidance to State and Local Governments page link: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Guidance-for-State-Territorial-Local-and-Tribal-Governments.pdf

U.S. Treasury Guidance FAQ: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf


Application Process

Applications are due on October 30, 2020 at 5 PM – email to PublicWifiRelief@hamilton-co.org

Questions can be sent to PublicWifiRelief@hamilton-co.org through 5 PM on October 26, 2020

Anticipated award date November 11, 2020

Closeout reports due December 30, 2020


Eligibility

An organization is eligible to receive funding hereunder if it is meets the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Can demonstrate that CARES Act funding will only be used to pay necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  2. Organized as a non-profit entity under the laws of the State of Ohio and recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service; is a recreation center or community center that is operated by a local government; free library open and accessible to the general public; or is a school recognized by the Ohio Department of Education for grades K-12. A school does not have to operate all grade levels to qualify.
  3. It maintains its principal place of business and operates at least one location in Hamilton County.
  4. Currently provides FREE public Wi-Fi in public or common areas to assist with remote education, workforce development, and/or access to social services.
  5. Will not use CARES Act funding in place of, or instead of, local, state, federal, or other government funds already designated or used for that expense or activity.
  6. Has a DUNS number prior to being awarded grant funding. A DUNS number can be requested at: https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do.
  7. Is currently in compliance with all treasury regulations, including those applicable to its status as an organization recognized as tax exempt under I.R.C. 501(c)(3) and a non-profit organization under Ohio law. In addition is currently in compliance with all Ohio laws and rules applicable to its type of organization.
  8. Has been in operation since at least January 2019.
  9. Has experience in successfully managing federal, state, local government grants and/or private grant funding.
  10. Can demonstrate that it has funding available to pay for continued FREE public Wi-Fi services from 12/31/2020 through, at a minimum, 12/30/2021 or later.
  11. Requested funds have not been accounted for in the organization’s most recently approved budget as of March 27, 2020.


Evaluation

If the requests for this funding exceeds the applicable allocation(s), applications will be evaluated and scored per the following:

Criteria Evaluation Scoring
Completeness Submitted all documentation Yes/No
Eligibility Meets all criteria Yes/No
Outcome Plan to increase Wi-Fi service to include increased bandwidth, distance, speed and number of residents served 0 to 30 points
Need for Service Justification for the need of the service 0 to 10 points
Ability to meet timeline Program details and description demonstrate applicant is ready to launch and will be completed by 12/30/2020 0 to 10 points
Budget Narrative Budget justification and description of expenses and how they were necessary and in response to COVID-19 public health emergency. Can demonstrate that it has funding available to pay for continued FREE public Wi-Fi services from 12/31/2020 through, at a minimum, 12/31/21 or later 0 to 10 points
Max Total Points   60 Points

Local Government Partner Distribution

Hamilton County Distributes $25 Million in Cares Act Funding to Local Government Partners

Local governments within Hamilton County will receive a direct allocation of CARES Act dollars from Hamilton County in the coming weeks. Hamilton County Commissioners set aside $30 Million in CARES Act funds to assist local governments in combatting COVID-19. $25 Million is going directly to the local governments now, while an additional $5 Million will be kept in reserves to ensure the resources are matching the needs of the communities.

“Our goal is to get this money out the door as swiftly as possible to the villages, cities and townships that need it,” said Commission President Denise Driehaus. “We also want the funding to fit the needs of these local governments that are on the front lines of dealing with this public health crisis.”

“We know that COVID 19 has had a major impact on local government budgets,” said Commission Vice President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “Some jurisdictions are feeling the crunch sooner than others depending on their tax structure and their fiscal cycle. We want to make sure each jurisdiction has what they need to tackle major operational changes as they battle this pandemic.”

Funds will be distributed to all 49 jurisdictions using the Ohio Local Government Fund formula. The Local Government Fund is the main tax revenue sharing method developed by the state to spread revenues based on tax capacity and population. Swift allocation is necessary to help those local governments operating on a fiscal year that ends June 30.

“Dispersing these funds equitably among the jurisdictions by using the Local Government Formula means that every resident of Hamilton County is covered.” said Commissioner Victoria Parks.

Eligible uses of funds include those expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency including coronavirus-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, disinfecting of public areas and payroll expenses for public safety needs.

Hamilton County Commissioners and Administration have been in close contact with the jurisdictions since the beginning of the pandemic crisis. The County has regular web-based meetings with all county-wide elected officials and government administrators and has surveyed the local governments to collectively support individual communities' needs including the bulk buying of personal protective equipment.

Nonprofit Relief Program

Many nonprofit organizations located in Hamilton County have provided and will continue to provide essential social and family services to Hamilton County residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency. To assist those organizations with necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19, Hamilton County has allocated up to $5 million to nonprofit organizations as a part of its CARES Act Plan. For more information about the Nonprofit Relief Program, visit the Nonprofit Relief Program page.

The deadline to apply is August 31 at 12 p.m.

Rent & Utility Relief Program

 Click here to download informational document.

Hamilton County Commissioners awarded three separate contracts to help Hamilton County renters stay in their homes and keep the lights on during the COVID-19-pandemic. The Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief Program draws on CARES Act funds to provide short term assistance to renters who live in Hamilton County and can document income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County will pay up to three months’ rent and utilities payments with a maximum of $2,500 for households at or below 80% of the Area Median Income:

Number of People in Household 1 2 3 4 5 6
Max Income 80% of Area Median Income  $48,350 $55,250 $62,150 $63,050 $74,600 $80,100
Number of People in Household Max Income 80% of Area Median Income 
1 $48,350
2 $55,250
3 $62,150
4 $63,050
5 $74,600
6 $80,100

 

How to Apply

To apply, Hamilton County renters can contact:

Community Action Agency
     https://www.cincy-caa.org/
     (513) 569-1840, option #4
     epa@cincy-caa.org

Freestore Foodbank
     https://freestorefoodbank.org/ (Click on the COVID-19 Update tab)
     (513) 357-4687
     rluckie@freestorefoodbank.org (Ryan Luckie)

Talbert House
     https://www.talberthouse.org/
     (513) 338-8596 (24-hour Housing Hotline)
     RAP@talberthouse.org

For more information on the Rent and Utility Relief Program, please visit the press release page.

Small Business Relief Program

The Small Business Relief Program provides Hamilton County small businesses with some monetary relief from business interruption costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible small businesses are able to apply for up to $10,000 in Grant Funds to be used for the reimbursement of certain Eligible Expenses. For more information about the Small Business Relief Program, visit the Small Business Relief Program page.