RISE info sessions address process for federal grants

About $2 million will benefit local economic recovery

To encourage applicants for federal funds through the Recovery and Investment for a Stronger Economy (RISE) program, the Cherry Hill township will host a series of information sessions both in person and remotely next month.

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As a result of the $1.9 trillion American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA), the township got $11.36 million, of which $2.3 million will go toward local economy and nonprofit recovery.

As noted during the Nov. 18 info session, there will be two rounds of funding. The first opened its applications on Oct. 31, and is aimed at recovery from the negative economic impacts of COVID. Recipients will include nonprofits, small businesses, hotels, and eligible third-party or government organizations that can demonstrate that sustained impact.

The second round of funding for prospective and reinvestment grants is expected to be opened sometime next spring, though a timeline has yet to be determined.

Cosmos Diamantis, the township’s director of community development, explained that it is important that groups apply for a grant proportional to the detrimental impact they suffered.

Even though we’re making grants available for up to $45,000, that doesn’t mean that is necessarily going to be the proportional response to your need,” he said.

For organizations seeking reimbursement for mitigation and prevention strategies such as personal protection equipment or ventilation system installation, it has been determined that reimbursement is only available for costs from March 2021 to the present. 

“If you are going to say, ‘Hey, we got a bunch of invoices and expenditures for social distancing, PPE, whatever, that go back all the way to 2020,’ you can submit all of those, but as we do the eligibility review, we’re going to have to just look at costs from March 2021 onward for reimbursement,” Diamantis added.

To be eligible for a grant, applicants cannot have received alternate federal, state or local  funds from March 1 2020 to the time of the application to cover the same costs, programs or impacts identified in the grant application. Diamantis noted that if the amount of grant funding received is less than the identified economic impact, there may still be eligibility for a grant.

The remaining time at the info session on the 18th that followed the grants overview was spent reviewing the application on the township government website. 

There will be an in-person information session on Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in room 208 at the municipal building. An online session in the same location will be held on Monday, Dec. 19, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

To learn more about the RISE program, visit https://www.chnj.gov/rise Questions can be directed to RISE@chnj.gov or to (856) 910-9686. A response should arrive in five business days.

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