The American Rescue Plan allocated $362 billion to state and local governments, on top of the CARES Act and other federal aid. Overnight, the challenges these agencies face flipped from “how are we going to pay for the things we need?” to “how can we best invest these funds to support recovery and prosperity?” The focus shifted, but grant recipients will grapple with strategies for optimizing funds, competing priorities and overlapping programs, compliance with federal and state laws, and executing programs. Eligible entities that expect to receive payment from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (or other programs) should complete certain steps as soon as possible to prepare to receive these funds.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on guidance from the U.S. Treasury and begin developing your government’s plan for recovery funds as soon as possible. Find more information about recent guidance here.

One best practice for state and local governments to consider is the implementation of a centralized Strategic Recovery Center to streamline and organize recovery operations, comply with changing regulations, and boost results through optimizing fund usage based on restrictions, needs, and impact. P&N can help grant recipients set up a centralized command center, creating FAQs and shared resources that allow organizations across the state to leverage knowledge and best practices. We can deploy people, implement technologies, and design processes across agencies, grant recipients, and sub-recipients, sharing knowledge and resources, helping drive best practices, with a centralized goal of making the most of federal assistance.

How governments further slice—and serve—the pie will dictate their recovery today, and for decades in the future.