The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, has provided $150 billion to State and Local governments to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each state has received a specific amount of that funding, as well as local governments with populations over 500,000. For a full list of the amounts allocated to each state and local government, please reference the document here. Local governments under the 500,000-population threshold may have been allocated a portion of their state’s funding as well.
How Can This Funding Be Used?
To be eligible for the funding, the CARES Act stipulates that the payments be used only to cover costs that meet three levels of criteria:
1. Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID–19?
As many can attest, although revenue needed to support state and local governments has decreased, the need for services to support the public sectors has not; in many cases, the demand for support has only increased. Many governments are utilizing technology, including automation and SaaS software, to help manage this increased burden brought about by work from home orders throughout the country.
2. Were necessary expenditures not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 for the state or government?
For those agencies that predicted this global pandemic and the resulting effects – hats off to you. If you are like most governments, however, you didn’t expect or plan for the aftershocks of COVID-19. Even those organizations that were better prepared for the increase in remote work have been forced to push towards their digital transformation faster than they would have anticipated. Either way, the support required to meet the demand for services was most likely not budgeted; this is where the CARES Act funding has been allocated to assist governments in serving the needs of their constituents.
3. Were necessary expenditures incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020?
The CARES Act funding has been intended to help state and local governments during this time of need. As such, the Act stipulates that the funds are used to cover costs that were occurred during the above period. Payments from the fund may also be used to purchase goods—such as software and other technology—in subsequent periods if said goods were purchased in the above period due to the funding guidelines in point #1 above.
For full guidance on the CARES Act, visit the official US Treasury site here.
What Information Do You Need?
So, your organization qualifies for CARES Act funding and is looking to support your state, city, or county, etc. What now? While the process to get approved for funding varies from state to state, there are some pieces of information that will most likely be required to qualify your funding. Let’s walk through an example using AvePoint’s software. Here are some considerations you should clarify as you start preparing your CARES Act funding request:
Need: As mentioned above, remote work has significantly increased over the past several months, as has your utilization of a collaboration platform such as Microsoft Teams. Teams usage doubled from March 12 to April 30 of 2020, and usage has increased since. If you need an automatic way to manage and govern your entire Microsoft 365 environment, look no further than AvePoint’s Cloud Governance solution to make remote work easy for your business users, while simultaneously removing the operation burden from your IT team.
Timeline: Make sure the goods and services can be rendered before the end of 2020. AvePoint’s SaaS solutions can be delivered instantaneously, and we have services packages that can meet your CARES Act funding deadlines. Take a look at our Teams Intelligent Surge Management offering: a 2-3 week engagement to rapidly transform your Microsoft Teams environment.
Procurement: Make sure you have a clear path to purchase the product and/or services that will help meet the needs of your organization. If you’re looking to purchase any of AvePoint’s solutions or services you can buy from us directly, through any number of resellers, or through the GSA or NASPO contracts. A list of other contract vehicles is included here.
Other Customer Success stories: Many government organizations are looking for other success stories relevant to what they want to procure. In this example, if you’re looking at AvePoint’s Cloud Governance solution, take a look at how Minnesota’s Metropolitan Council successfully deployed the software and is able to automatically support the provisioning, naming conventions, lifecycle, and ownership of its 5,000 employees, each of which are divided into different council departments.
Contact your AvePoint representative for more details on how you can leverage CARES Act funding to support your remote work initiatives by the end of the year.