New Guidance Issued on COVID Relief State and Local Governments

April 16, 2021 by TWN Staff
The Treasury Department. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department has released updated guidance on its pre-award requirements for state and local governments to receive direct coronavirus relief payments under the American Rescue Plan Act.

It particular the guidance outlines the “immediate” steps municipalities need to take to get in line for the funding.

The American Rescue Plan Act provides $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, or its negative economic impacts.

In addition to helping these governments address the revenue losses they have experienced as a result of the crisis, it will help them cover the costs incurred due responding to the public health emergency and provide support for a recovery – including through assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, and aid to impacted industries. It will also provide resources for state, local, and Tribal governments to provide premium pay to essential workers and make necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

In announcing the guidelines, the Treasury Department noted that it is well-aware that state, local and Tribal governments across America have been under an unprecedented strain in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. 

At the height of the economic fallout in 2020, public sector employment fell by around 1.4 million jobs, including layoffs of 1 million educators, compared to around 750,000 job losses during the Great Recession. As a result, communities have faced untenable choices, between laying off educators, firefighters, and other frontline workers or failing to provide services that communities rely on.

The Recovery Fund provides funding for critical projects, and includes:

  • $195 billion for states
  • $130 billion for local governments, including counties, cities, and smaller local governments
  • $20 billion for tribal governments
  • $4.5 billion for territories

The Treasury Department is advising state and local governments to complete the following steps as soon as possible:

1. Ensure the entity has a valid DUNS number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify an organization and is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. The federal government uses the DUNS number to track how federal money is allocated. A DUNS number is required prior to registering with the SAM database, which is outlined below. Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge. If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.

2. Ensure the entity has an active SAM registration. SAM is the official government-wide database to register with in order to do business with the U.S. government. All federal financial assistance recipients must register on SAM.gov and renew their SAM registration annually to maintain an active status to be eligible to receive federal financial assistance. There is no charge to register or maintain your entity SAM registration.

If an entity does not have an active SAM registration, please visit, SAM.gov to begin the entity registration or renewal process. Please note that SAM registration can take up to three weeks; delay in registering in SAM could impact timely payment of funds.

Click here for a quick overview for SAM registration

3. Gather the entity’s payment information, including:

  • Entity Identification Number (EIN), name and contact information
  • Name and title of an authorized representative of the entity
  • Financial institution information (e.g., routing and account number, financial institution name and contact information)

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