COVID-19 Funding in Indian Country

This page has been prepared with the support of Empire Health Foundation and the Montana Healthcare Foundation and is intended as a resource for the Indian Nations and Urban Indian Organizations of Northeastern Washington and Montana.

The links below will take you to a description of the programs and the funding that may be available to Indian Nations and Urban Indian Organizations. Where available, there are links that further describe the opportunities and how funding may be accessed. As further information is identified, this page will be updated. This includes links to specific requests for proposals (Notice of Funds Available). As time permits, synopses of these opportunities will be prepared to allow you to quickly evaluate the opportunity. 

PLEASE NOTE with regards to site navigation: All information added after 4/3/2020 will be date stamped. You may look for new information by simple doing a search (CTRL + F) for the term “ADDED.”

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding this information, or if you should need additional information and/or assistance, please feel free to contact Stephen Reichard or call 509-999-3091. If you may require assistance in pursuing any of these funding opportunities, for Montana-based Indian nations and Urban Indian Organizations, please contact Tressie White. For Washington-based Indian nations and Urban Indian Organizations, please contact Shivon Brite.

Urgent/New

Links to new items and items with deadlines will be posted here. As the deadlines pass, these links will be removed. Links to new items will be removed every three days.

The Federal Transit Administration announced $5 million in funding for public transportation in Indian Country. Read more here.

Washington State released an additional $5 million to assist tribes with the COVID response. To learn more, click here.

Finimpact has created a master list of grants available to small businesses. To learn more, click here.

A detailed synopsis of the USDA Rural Telemedicine/ Distance Learning grant opportunity due on 7/13 is available here.

The CDC has issued a guidance to assist communities in planning for a COVID-19 outbreak. Read more here.

HUD has issued extended forbearance to mortgage holders and renters adversely impacted by COVID-19. To learn more, click here.

The annual Native American Research Centers for Health Notice of Funds Available has been released. Learn more here.

ONAP will begin to accept applications for the ICDBG Imminent Threat funding opportunity beginning June 1 and will make awards on a rolling basis. To read more, click here.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will begin accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses starting on 5/26/2020. Read more here.

Clinics receiving H8E funding to expand COVID-19 testing must report by June 6 (a Saturday). To learn more, click here.

Guidance on maximizing forgiveness of Payroll Protection Program loans is available here.

TREASURY/BIA

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020

ADDED ON 5/5/2020: The Trump administration announced the release of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund promised to tribal governments. According to the announcement, only $4.8 billion, or 60 percent of the fund, is going out at this time. It will be based on “population data used in the distribution of the Indian Housing Block Grant” funds. Notably, such data was not required of tribes when they submitted their certification forms to the Trump administration in April 2020.The remaining 40 percent is to be based on tribal employment figures, which were submitted as part of the certification. However, the announcement also says these payments will be tied to “further data to be collected.”Additionally, “Payments to tribes based on employment and expenditure data will be made at a later date,’ the announcement reads. Treasury released a FAQ regarding payments to tribes that may be found here. A memo describing the allocation methodology may be found here.

ADDED ON 5/4/2020: Twenty-four Senators wrote Secretary Steve Mnuchin today demanding a release of thee $8 billion awarded to tribes and Alaska Native villages as part of the CARES Act. To read the letter, click here.

ADDED ON 4/30/2020: The CARES Act set aside $474 Billion in loans and loan guarantees for corporations. Tribes are expressly included within this definition. To learn more about the corporate loan program, click here.

ADDED ON 4/28/2020: The Bureau of Indian Affairs has extended the due date for the National Tribal Broadband Grant Program to June 15. The purpose of the National Tribal Broadband program is to improve the quality of life, spur economic development and commercial activity, create opportunities for self-employment, enhance educational resources and remote learning opportunities, and meet emergency and law enforcement needs by increasing broadband services to Native American communities that lack adequate connectivity.

“Broadband access on tribal lands lags far behind the rest of America and this deficit has far reaching effects, particularly as Arizona’s Native American communities are grappling with the health and economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ). “Without high speed internet, tribal members are missing out on the great advancements in e-commerce, job opportunities, education, and healthcare that are increasingly becoming essential components of modern life. This extension is critical to allowing Arizona’s tribes to succeed in the advancing digital universe and I encourage our state’s tribal leaders to apply for this opportunity.” The Notice of Funds Available may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/27//2020: Treasury issued guidance for state, territorial and tribal governments receiving funding under the CARES Act. The guidance sets forth the Department of the Treasury’s interpretation of these limitations on the permissible use of Fund payments, and may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/20/2020: The Bureau of Indian Affairs has been provided with an additional $453 million, largely ($380 million) for redistribution to tribes by formula. It includes up to $40 million for BIA Welfare Assistance. According to NICWA, it appears that these funds will be distributed according to enrollment with not less than $60,000 per tribe. However, NICWA encourages tribes to contact their regional BIA office to discuss distribution of BIA Welfare Assistance funds.

ADDED on 4/19/2020: The Bureau of Indian Affairs posted a sample format that tribes can use as guidance to develop their own Administrative Plan for Public Assistance. here.

ADDED ON 4/14/2020: From Our Federal Partners: $150B Coronavirus Relief Fund for State, Local, and Tribal Governments – April 17 Submission Deadline

The U.S. Department of the Treasury launched a web portal to allow eligible state, local, and tribal governments to receive payments to help offset the costs of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides for payments to governments navigating the impact of COVID-19. Governments eligible for payments must submit payment information and required supporting documentation through the web portal no later than 11:59 PM EDT on April 17, 2020. View more information and complete the submission on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website.

ADDED ON 4/9/2020: I was dialed in via conference to the National Treasury/BIA Tribal Consultation today. Rough minutes to that consultation may be found here.

$8 billion will be allocated to Tribal governments with eligible expenses through the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of the Interior and Tribal governments. These consultations will help ensure that the funds will be allocated effectively to Tribes most in need of critical aid. Consultations with tribal leaders are taking place on 4/2/2020 and 4/9/2020.

CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020

ADDED ON 5/22/2020: The CDC has issued guidance on how a community can develop an effective plan for addressing an outbreak of COVID. To download the guidance, click here.

ADDED ON 5/4/2020: On a national call with the CDC today, they announced the formula for distribution of grant funds to tribes, tribal organizations, consortiums, etc. under the non-competitive grant process: Supporting Tribal Public Health Capacity in Coronavirus Preparedness and Response.  All tribes will be awarded a base of $25,000 within ten days of submitting their proposals. A subsequent will be made by June 30 based on a complex formula including fractionated shares and population served. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, or to request a transcript of today’s webinar, please write: TribalCOVIDnofo@cdc.gov.

ADDED ON 4/25/2020: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a Notice of Funds Available on 4/24/20 for supplemental funding for tribal nations and Regional AI/AN Organizations that received funding under the the 2018 CDC-RFA-OT18-1803: Tribal Public Health Capacity Building And Quality Improvement Umbrella Funding Agreement. The goal of this additional funding is to provide resources to optimize the quality and performance of, and allow for the infusion of health equity principles into, tribal public health systems, including infrastructure, workforce, data and information systems, programs and services, resources and communication, and partnerships. You may download the NOFA here.

  • From the initial Corona response legislation adopted on 3/6/20, $2.2 billion for the CDC, including $950 million for state and local preparedness grants, $300 million for global disease detection and response, and $300 million for the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund.

  • This includes $30 million that will be disbursed to tribes with user populations greater than 40,000 (this can only be the Navajo) and regional organizations that received the 2018 Tribal Public Health Capacity-Building and Quality Improvement Umbrella Cooperative Agreement. This includes Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board’s Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council’s Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center. These entities are applying for up to $3.5 million in funding apiece that will be used to assist tribes in their regions with their COVID response.
  • $2 million is being directed to the National Indian Health Board
  • $8 million has been set aside for urban Indian programs
  • Provides for a total of $4.3 billion for program wide activities and support with no less than $1.5 billion to be made available to States, localities, territories, tribes, tribal organizations, UIOs, or health service providers to tribes. Activities include:
    • Surveillance, Epidemiology, Laboratory Capacity, Infection Control, Mitigation, Communications, Other Preparedness and Response Activities
    • Of this, at least $125 million is to be made available to tribes, tribal organizations, UIOs or health service providers to tribes.

Non-Competitive Grant: the Tribal Public Health Capacity in Coronavirus Preparedness and Response (CDC-RFA-OT20-2004) has just been released. The purpose of this funding is to provide emergency funding for federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, consortia of federally recognized tribes, or their bona fide agents that represent tribal components of the public health system to carry out COVID-19 preparedness and response activities. The amount of funding is not known. A synopsis of the grant opportunity may be found here. The entire Notice of Funds Available may be found here. The slides from the webinar on this opportunity may be found here.

COVID-19 Emergency Response for Regional Tribally Designated Organizations: The CDC has issued a Notice of Funds Available for the Regional Tribally-Designated Organizations that were not funded in 2018 and 2019 to engage in COVID-10 emergency response-related activities. This grant appears to be an effort to ensure that all of the regional health-related organizations have funded to assist tribes within their regions. The response to NOFA is due on April 8. The full NOFA may be found here.

CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES

Last updated on May 18th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/18/2020: CMS has issued additional temporary guidance and waivers to health clinics regarding serology testing and billing during the pandemic. To read the guidance, click here.

ADDED ON 5/4/2020: CMS has posted a COVID-19 Partner Toolkit on-line with resources for providers. It may be found here. It includes transcripts of near-daily dial-in calls for specific service providers types, such as Hospice, nursing homes, etc.

ADDED ON 5/2/2020: REMINDER – Providers who have received payments from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund must attest to each payment associated with their billing Taxpayer Identification Number(s). In addition, providers who have already received payments will need to upload their most recent IRS tax filings as well as estimates of lost revenues for March and April 2020. Attestation must be made here.

ADDED ON 5/1/2020: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new guidance yesterday that included waivers to expand access to the ability to deliver services via telehealth to all Medicare providers as well as  a waiver for audio-only telehealth. The full guidance, which runs 36 pages, may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/30/2020: The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has released a proposed rule that would amend its civil money penalty regulations to address the CARES Act. The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule. The proposed rule includes enhanced penalties for “knowingly” engaging in a number of activities that may be considered fraud, or fraudulent. The proposed rule is broadly written to include all programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services including the Centers for Disease Control, the Health Resources Services Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, etc. It also includes the stimulus payments recently made to providers via formula from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. To learn more, read here.

ADDED ON 4/29/2020: CMS has issued a comprehensive guidance on waivers associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes information on waivers around telehealth, HIPAA, etc. That guidance may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/24/20: The mostly recently adopted COVID-19 stimulus package known as 3.5 included, in addition to the $50 billion to be distributed by formula based on Medicare payments, an additional $20 billion to be distributed via formula based on net revenues. This should benefit clinics, including FQHCs, FQHC-look alikes amd Tribal FQHCs that may disproportionately serve Medicaid patients. To learn more, read here. A FAQ on this topic is available here.

ADDED ON 4/24/2020: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have added an additional $50 billion to be distributed to all providers of Medicare services via formula, as described below. Read more here.  Providers who receive funds from the general distribution have to sign an attestation confirming receipt of funds and agree to the terms and conditions of payment and confirm the CMS cost report.  

ADDED ON 4/23/2020 – Health care providers should have received a disbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the last week based on the following formula: Your 2019 Medicare billing/$484,000,000,000*$30,000,000,000. The formula is calculated as the your total Medicare billings divided by total Medicare Billings across the United States multiplied by the amount of funding provided through the CARES Act for this purpose. Providers ARE REQUIRED to sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds within 30 days of receipt. You may attest here.

ADDED ON 4/10/2020: $30 billion will be distributed to Medicare providers this week. This is no strings attached funding and is the first tranche of what is expected to be $100 billion that will be distributed to Medicare providers.

Below are the details Administrator Verma announced regarding distribution of the first $30 billion of the fund:

  1. The funding will be in the form of grants based on Medicare revenue. There are no strings attached to the grants, which will allow healthcare providers receiving these funds to “spend that in any way that they see fit.”
  2. For healthcare providers with direct deposit accounts set up with CMS, the funds will be automatically deposited into the provider’s bank accounts. For providers without direct deposit, CMS will require the providers to complete a “very simple” registration in order to receive the funds. CMS has not yet released further details regarding the registration process.
  3. The first round of funding is expected to happen this week.
  4. Funding is not available on a first-come, first-serve basis; the program is based on providers’ Medicare revenue.
  5. The second tranche of funding will address organizations and healthcare providers that receive significant revenue from sources other than Medicare, including pediatricians, children’s hospitals, OB-GYNs, nursing homes and other providers receiving funds primarily from Medicaid or other payer sources.

To reach more, click here.

ADDED ON 4/6/2020: The CARES Act (“Act”) appropriates $100 billion to create a Public Health Social Service Emergency Fund (“Fund”) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus domestically and internationally for necessary expenses to reimburse, through grants or other mechanisms, eligible health care providers enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid who provide diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID–19, for health care-related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus. Although the Act sets forth some high level qualifying criteria, the actual mechanism by which providers can apply for or request funds, or additional qualifiers for eligibility, if any, have not yet been released. To date, the Act notes that funds appropriated under this provision may be used for:

  • the building or construction of temporary structures
  • the leasing of properties
  • medical supplies and equipment (including PPE and testing supplies)
  • increased workforce and trainings
  • emergency operation centers
  • retrofitting facilities
  • surge capacity for hospitals and other health care facilities

It is anticipated that the detailed criteria and methodology for distribution of these funds will be published by the Department of Health and Human Services very shortly. We are closely tracking all developments related to the Fund and the anticipated guidance. 

  • In addition, the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund includes:
  • $3.1 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund from the Families First Corona Virus Response Act adopted by 3/18/20
  • Funding Mechanism: Unknown as of 4/1/2020

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Last updated on May 4th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/2/2020: The FCC will no longer accept Telehealth applications via email. All applications must now come through the Online Portal.

ADDED ON 4/29/2020: Through April 29, the FCC has awarded $13.7 million of the $200 million set aside for its $200 million COVID-19 telehealth program.

ADDED ON 4/15/2020: The FCC released its application for $200 million telehealth program to provide “immediate support to eligible health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by fully funding their telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services until the program’s funds have been expended or the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.” The Commission does not anticipate awarding more than $1 million to any single applicant.

This is NOT a grant program. It is a disbursement program for eligible health programs. The guidance may be found here, and an FAQ here. A fillable PDF application has been made available and may be found here. You must secure a FCC Registration Number first (FRC) number first.

To obtain a FCC Registration number (FRN),

  1. Go to the Commission’s Registration System (CORES) and Click Register.
  2. Answer whether the FRN is for an individual or business and whether the address for the contact is within the U.S. and click Continue.
  3. Complete the registration information and click Submit.

You must also obtain an eligibility determination from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) which requires that you complete the Form 460 which may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/15/2020: The FCC has prepared a webinar for families and institutions to stay connected. You may view that presentation here.

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Last updated on May 16th, 2020

Administration for Children and Families:

ADDED ON 5/15/2020: The Administration for Children and Families issued guidance for day care providers receiving discretionary funding under the CARES Act through the Child Care Development Block Grant program. To read the guidance, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The Administration for Native Americans issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity today for Growing Organizations that are seeking to build their internal capacity. The NOFO is available here. A detailed synopsis may be found here. Responses to request for proposal are due on July 13. 

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The Administration for Native Americans has delayed the due date for its annual Social and Economic Development Strategies funding opportunity until July 13. 

ADDED ON 5/13/2020: he Administration for Children and Families announced the availability of $4,000,000 to be competitively awarded to tribal colleges and universities for the purpose of establishing or enhancing partnerships with Head Start programs to increase the number of qualified education staff working in American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The Notice of Funds Available here when it is available.

ADDED ON 4/30/2020: Head Start has allocated $750 million to Head Start agencies in the “same ratio to such portion as the number of enrolled children served by the agency involved bears to the number of enrolled children by all Head Start agencies.” Up to $500,000,000 shall be available for the purpose of operating supplemental summer programs through non-competitive grant supplements to existing grantee determined to be most ready to operate those programs by the Office of Head Start. 

ADDED ON 4/30/2020: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will disburse an additional $900 million to tribes through a formula or mechanism as yet to be determined. In the interim, the LIHEAP office has issued guidance regarding waivers associated with the 2020 LIHEAP allocation which may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/30/2020: The CARES Act added an additional $3.5 billion to Child Care Development Block Grant funding for states, territories and tribes. $96.25 million of that has been set-aside for Indian Country. On April 24, the Congressional Research Service published a guidance on how the supplemental funds may be used which is available here.

ADDED ON 4/10/2020: The Administration for Children and Families issued a Dear Tribal Leaders letter regarding COVID-19-related changes to the application for Kinship Navigator Funds and Family First Prevention Services Act Grants. These applications have been consolidated and the grant deadline extended. Click here to read the Tribal Leaders letter.

$6.3 billion, which includes:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant: $3.5 billion in grants to states for immediate assistance to childcare providers to prevent them from going out of business and to otherwise support childcare for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis.
  • Head Start: $750 million for grants to all Head Start programs to help them respond to coronavirus related needs of children and families, including making up for lost learning time. This money should go directly to the programs, bypassing the states.  No decision has yet been made with regards to how these funds will be distributed. When a decision is made, it will be posted here.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: $900 million in grants to states to support immediate home energy assistance for low-income households affected by coronavirus. To apply for these funds in Washington, for further information, click here. For Montana, click here.
  • Family Violence Prevention and Services: $45 million to provide additional support to family violence shelters, and $2 million in additional support for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. [Left message with Nancy Blackwell to see if/how decisions are being made regarding distribution – 4/1/2020]
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs: $25 million for additional immediate assistance to current programs providing critical services and housing for runaway and homeless youth.
  • Child Welfare Services: $45 million for grants to states to support the child welfare needs of families during this crisis, and to help keep families together. Funding mechanism unknown as of 4/1/2020 but likely to be through existing distribution channels.

ACF announced grant flexibilities associated with COVID-19. Guidance on those flexibilities may be found here. ADDED 4/4/2020.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020

ADDED ON 5/22/2020: A detailed synopsis of the USDA Rural Telemedicine/ Distance Learning grant opportunity may be downloaded here. The full application guideline is available here. The application is due on July 13.

ADDED ON 5/19/2020: USDA’s Farm Service Agency will begin accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses starting on 5/26/2020. The application form and a payment calculator for producers will be available online once signup begins and will be posted here.

ADDED ON 4/27/2020: The Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development has issued a document on available resources arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.  It includes a Rural Development Guaranteed Loan Program, forbearance on 538 loans, guidance on moratoriums around evictions for renters and mortgage holders, as well as guidance around new funding made available through the CARES Act. The document may be read here.

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: The Department of Agriculture announced on Friday, April 17, a $19 billion relief package for farmers, to maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.” It includes the following: It includes $16 billion in direct support for farmers and ranchers and $3 billion in purchases by the USDA. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: The Department of Agriculture announced that farmers and ranchers will have additional time to repay Marketing Assistance loans. To learn more, click here. Similarly, the USDA has given lenders temporary exception to allow payment deferrals for USDA-backed loans. To learn more, read here.

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: The Department of Agriculture has released a handbook, the Federal Rural Resource Guide, to assist rural communities in identifying resources and opportunities to assist them through the COVID-19 pandemic. You can download that resource guide here.

ADDED ON 4/19/2020: The Department of Agriculture announced a $19 billion food assistance program aimed at farmers, ranchers and consumers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes $16 billion in direct assistance for actual losses to agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year. In addition, USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. Finally, The FFCRA and CARES Act provided an at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases. To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 4/15/2020: The United States Department of Agriculture has made an additional $25 million available under its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Initiative. The application deadline is July 13, 2020. The Funding Announcement may be found here.

Grant funds may be used for:

  • Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as:
    • Broadband transmission facilities (No more than 20% of award)
    • Audio, video and interactive video equipment
    • Terminal and data terminal equipment
    • Computer hardware, network components and software
    • Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services

A brief synopsis of this grant opportunity has been developed and is available here.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS

  • $100 million
  • Funding mechanism unclear as of 4/1/2020. Likely formula driven through existing distribution channels.
  • Some of this funding “may be used to offset higher food distribution costs due to COVID-19.” ADDED 4/4/2020.

SNAP

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: To review SNAP program waivers by State, click here.

  • $15.5 billion in additional funding
  • SNAP Benefits for Kids: States can alter their SNAP programs to provide direct aid to households with children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, if a school is closed for at least five consecutive days because of the coronavirus;
  • SNAP Work Requirements: The bill would waive federal work requirements for SNAP eligibility;
  • States could request emergency allotments of food aid to support increased participation in SNAP.

WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN

  • $500 million in emergency funding for the WIC program and gives states flexibility to waive certain administrative requirements for recipients. Physical presence waivers and other waivers are being routinely offered.

Food Package Substitution Waivers: FFRCA provides USDA the authority to allow states and Indian Tribal Organizations to permit appropriate substitutes for the types and amounts of certain WIC-prescribed foods if their availability is limited. (Guidance for States on Food Package Substitution Waivers). ADDED 4/4/2020.

  • As of 4/1, the following tribes have received waivers: Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation. For more information, please go here.

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: A FNS FAQ on its response to COVID-19 may be found here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES OF THE USDA

ADDED ON 4/12/2020: The FDA announced best practices for food handling during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, click here.

FNS has approved waivers from all 50 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, enabling Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sponsors to serve meals in a non-congregate setting and at school sites during school closures related to the coronavirus. FNS also issued guidance on meal delivery using existing authorities in summer meal programs.

  • Pandemic EBT: As a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, children who would receive free or reduced-price meals if not for school closures are eligible to receive assistance under this provision. USDA is providing guidance to state agencies on plan requirements in order to receive approval. (Guidance for States on Pandemic EBT)
  • Nationwide Meal Times Waiver: FNS has provided a nationwide waiver to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. (Guidance for States on Meal Times Nationwide Waivers)
  • Nationwide Non-congregate Feeding Waiver: FNS has provided a nationwide waiver of congregate feeding requirements to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. (Guidance for States on Non-Congregate Feeding Nationwide Waivers)
  • Nationwide Afterschool Activity Waiver: FNS has provided a nationwide waiver to support access to nutritious meals and snacks while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. (Guidance for States on Afterschool Activity Nationwide Waivers)
  • Nationwide Meal Pattern Waiver: FNS has provided nationwide approval for states to locally waive specific meal pattern requirements as needed to support access to nutritious meals when certain foods are not available due to the novel coronavirus. (Guidance for States on Meal Pattern Waivers)
  • Nationwide Parent/Guardian Meal Pickup Waiver: FNS is allowing states approved for non-congregate feeding to waive the rule preventing parents and guardians from picking up meals for their children, as long as they protect accountability and integrity. (Guidance for States on Meal Pickup Waivers)
  • Nationwide Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data Waiver: FNS is extending CEP election, notification and reporting and deadlines for School Year 2020-21. (Guidance for States on CEP Waivers)
  • Nationwide Waivers of Child Nutrition Monitoring: FNS has used its authority under FFRCA to waive certain onsite monitoring requirements for the school meals programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program, to maintain program integrity and support social distancing while providing meals. (Guidance for States on Monitoring Waivers)

FNS REGIONAL CONTACTS:

Mountain Plains Regional Office, Disaster Assistance Coordinator, Philip Fraley, 303-844-0341

Western Regional Office, Disaster Assistance Coordinator, Maribelle Balbes, 415-437-8802

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Last updated on May 1st, 2020

ADDED ON 4/24/20: U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced on Thursday the creation of task forces in all 93 U.S. Attorney Districts to investigate criminal activity associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic. In a memorandum to all U. S. Attorneys, AG Barr directed every U.S. Attorney’s Office to “prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of all criminal conduct related to the current pandemic.” Read more here…

ADDED ON 4/22/20: On April 1, the Department of Justice announced the availability of up to $850 million to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. Tribes who received a 2019 JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) program are eligible for funding. The deadline to apply is May 29, 2020, however awards will be made on a rolling basis. Funds may be utilized to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers. A copy of the NOFA may be found here. A synopsis of this opportunity may be found here. Through today, $200 million of the $850 million in available funding has been allocated. The average award has been just under $2 million.

ADDED ON 4/25/20: As of end of day Friday, April 24, DOJ had distributed $242,652,184 to 142 recipients, an average award size of $1,708,818. DOJ has an additional $608 million to disburse.

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: the Department of Justice is offering grant awardees “administrative relief to funding recipients affected by the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 national emergency.” To learn more, read here.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Last updated on April 29th, 2020

Up to $100 million for Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) to help address the workforce-related impacts of the public health emergency related to COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus. Entities eligible to apply for Disaster Recovery DWGs are states, outlying areas and Indian Tribal Governments as defined in the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(6)). Disaster Recovery DWGs will provide eligible participants with both disaster-relief employment and employment and training activities. These participants can include dislocated workers, workers who were laid-off as a result of the disaster, self-employed individuals who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the disaster, and long-term unemployed individuals. To learn more, click here. Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020. For more information, click here.

The Department of Labor announced that

  • certain employers must provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take leave from work for certain specified reasons related to COVID-19. These reasons may include the following:
    • the employee or someone the employee is caring for is subject to a government quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • the employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical attention; or,
    • the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Provides direction for the effective administration of the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), which requires that certain employers provide up to 10 weeks of paid, and 2 weeks unpaid, emergency family and medical leave to eligible employees if the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • ADDED 4/4/2020

FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATION (FEMA)

Last updated on May 6th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/5/2020: FEMA has developed a Preparedness Grants Manual to guide FY 2020 applicants and recipients of grant funding on how to manage their grants and other resources. You may download the manual here.

ADDED ON 4/29/2020: FEMA is providing $100 million in supplemental FY 2020 funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies to the fire service community to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. A FAQ on this funding opportunity is available here.  

ADDED ON 4/27/2020: FEMA posted a FAQ for tribal governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQ is available here.

ADDED ON 4/15/2020: State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments with the legal responsibility for protecting life, public health and safety are eligible applicants for assistance related to the purchase and distribution of food.

Governmental applicants may enter into formal agreements or contracts with private organizations, including private nonprofit organizations such as food banks, to purchase and distribute food when necessary as an emergency protective measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In these cases, Public Assistance funding is provided to the legally responsible government entity, which would then reimburse the private organization for services under the agreement or contract. Read more…

ADDED ON 4/14/2020: FEMA released a Notice of Funds Available today to assist State, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management agencies with preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The NOFA provides approximately $5,000,000 for each region. The NOFA may be found here.

Eligible Assistance

Under the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, FEMA may provide assistance for emergency protective measures including, but not limited to, the following, if not funded by the HHS/CDC or other federal agency. While some activities listed may be eligible for funding through HHS/CDC, final reimbursement determinations will be coordinated by HHS and FEMA. FEMA will not duplicate any assistance provided by HHS/CDC:

  • Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety:
    • Emergency Operation Center costs
    • Training specific to the declared event
    • Disinfection of eligible public facilities
    • Technical assistance to state, tribal, territorial or local governments on emergency management and control of immediate threats to public health and safety
  • Emergency medical care:
    • Non‐deferrable medical treatment of infected persons in a shelter or temporary medical facility
    • Related medical facility services and supplies
    • Temporary medical facilities and/or enhanced medical/hospital capacity (for treatment when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near term and cannot accommodate the patient load or to quarantine potentially infected persons)
    • Use of specialized medical equipment
    • Medical waste disposal
    • Emergency medical transport
  • Medical sheltering (e.g. when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near future and cannot accommodate needs)
    • All sheltering must be conducted in accordance with standards and/or guidance approved by HHS/CDC and must be implemented in a manner that incorporates social distancing measures
    • Non‐congregate medical sheltering is subject to prior approval by FEMA and is limited to that which is reasonable and necessary to address the public health needs of the event, is pursuant to the direction of appropriate public health officials and does not extend beyond the duration of the Public Health Emergency.
  • Household pet sheltering and containment actions related to household pets in accordance with CDC guideline.
  • Purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine, and other consumable supplies, to include personal protective equipment and hazardous material suits movement of supplies and persons.
  • Security and law enforcement
  • Communications of general health and safety information to the public.
  • Search and rescue to locate and recover members of the population requiring assistance.
  • Reimbursement for state, tribe, territory and/or local government force account overtime costs.

SIMPLIFIED APPLICATION: A Simplified Application Fact Sheet may be fund here.

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: FEMA released a Fact Sheet on support for non-profit organizations. That may be found here.

ADDED 4/6/2020: FEMA holds a weekly update for Fire Chiefs and EMS Chiefs on COVID-19 on Monday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. (EST). Today’s webinar focused on cost recovery. You may access the slide presentation and recording here, on the right hand column. From the 4/6 update: there is a competitive bidding waiver, thus you are NOT required to engage in competitive bidding for any COVID-19 related expenses for which you will be seeking reimbursement from FEMA. You may seek reimbursement for expenses incurred back to January 20. Careful documentation that distinguishes time and expenses that are specific to the COVID-19 response will be critical. It must be auditable. You must maintain records for at least three years. The most important thing to do is to open up a file in the accounts portal. This signals to FEMA to expect a request from your tribe. To view the 4/6/2020 webinar, click here.

FEMA released a press statement regarding FEMA Assistance for Tribes which may be found here. ADDED 4/4/20.

FEMA released a press statement regarding Emergency Medical Care on 3/31/2020 which may be found here. ADDED: 4/4/2020

Important Considerations Regarding FEMA:

Based on the President’s nationwide emergency declaration for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 13, 2020, tribal governments have the option to request Public Assistance from FEMA as either a Recipient or Subrecipient.  Under the President’s national emergency declaration, states, territories, and tribes are not required to request individual Emergency Declarations, which is typically the case, in order to receive FEMA assistance. A Tribe may choose to receive assistance as a subrecipient under the State or as a direct recipient.

All FEMA awards require a 25% match. Traditionally, the state governments of Washington and Montana have picked up the 25% match for all subrecipients. Washington State has agreed to do so with regards to the COVID19 response. Montana has not made a formal decision with regards to the 25% match. However, Montana has always picked up on the 25% match in the past. If a tribe elects to seek assistance directly through FEMA, that tribe will need to come up with the 25% match, which can be in-kind as long as it is documented.

There are two types of declarations that can be made: An emergency declaration or a major disaster declaration. If a major disaster has been declared by a state government, anyone seeking funding directly from FEMA must have a mitigation plan in place. As of 3/31/20, both Washington and Montana have declared Major Disasters.

If a tribe elects to go directly to FEMA, it must also have a Federal Tribal Agreement in place, for which a template is available. Finally, if a tribe elects to go directly to FEMA, they must also have in place a Public Assistance Administrative Plan to document how assistance will be administered. In general, Carol Garcia, Tribal Relations Specialist for Region VIII, recommends that tribes establish a Tribal Emergency Response Committee comprised of representatives from all tribal departments so that everyone understands their respective roles in an emergency. Ms. Garcia also indicating that, in addition to the availability of the 25% match, the administrative burden of pursuing FEMA funding as a subrecipient is significantly less than that of pursuing funding directly through FEMA.

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION

Last updated on May 27th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/27/2020: The Federal Transit Administration announced the availability of $5 million in funding to support public transportation on Indian Reservations. Proposals are due on August 24.  To read the Federal Register Notice, click here.

ADDED ON 5/15/2020: The FTA has issued an FAQ for FTA-funded tribal transit recipients. You can view the FAQ here.

ADDED ON 5/8/2020: The Federal Highway Administration announced a $9.2 million Notice of Funds Available to develop safety plans and to address safety issues in Indian country . The deadline is August 9, 2020 and the NOFO may be found here.

The FTA is allocating $25 billion to recipients of urbanized area and rural area formula funds, with $22.7 billion to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion to rural areas. Funding will be provided at a 100-percent federal share, with no local match required, and will be available to support capital, operating, and other expenses generally eligible under those programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. FAQs regarding this funding are available here.

The FTA has provided additional guidance around drug and alcohol testing of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. That guidance may be found here.

HEALTH RESOURCES & SERVICES ADMINISTATION

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020

ADDED ON 5/21/2020: HRSA has extended the application deadline for its Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, its three-year program to implement a set of core opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery activities in rural communities until May 29.

ADDED ON 5/20/2020: HRSA released a NOFO for testing for FQHC Look-Alikes and Tribal FQHCs on 5/18/20 to support testing. The response to NOFO is due on 6/2/20. A webinar in support of the NOFO will be held on from 3:30-4:30 EST tomorrow, May 21 by clicking here or calling Call-in: 800-857-9804, Passcode: 2207925. The NOFO may be downloaded here.

ADDED ON 5/19//2020: On HRSA’s Today with Macrae, it was announced that funding will soon be available for FQHC Look-Alikes (including Tribal FQHCs) for expanded testing. Also, it was announced that funding to FQHCs for testing under the CARES Act may be used for serum testing to determine if someone has had the coronavirus. To read the notes from Today with Macrae, click here.

ADDED ON 5/13/2020: FQHC Clinics that received H8E supplemental funding to purchase, administer, and expand capacity for testing to monitor and suppress COVID-19 must provide a narrative and budget response, which includes the SF-424, by June 6 (a Saturday.) Tribal FQHCs and FQHC Look Alikes did not receive H8E supplemental funding. A Notice of Funding Opportunity will be released shortly to address the testing needs of Tribal FQHCs and FQHC Look Alikes.  To review the webinar slides on the response may be downloaded here. You can visit the HRSA webpage devoted to this report requirement here.

ADDED ON 5/12/2020: HRSA launched a new webpage devoted to COVID-19 which is available here.

ADDED ON 5/8/2020: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight U.S. territories to expand COVID-19 testing. Read more here.

ADDED ON 5/4/2020: HRSA plans to release a grant opportunity to all FQHCs and FQHC Look Alikes (including Tribal FQHCs) to support testing in the near future. Stay tuned.

ADDED ON 5/2/2020: HRSA issued a number of waivers for FQHCs and Rural Health Clinics on Thursday regarding telehealth and payment rates. They may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/30/2020: HRSA has added a comprehensive FAQ regarding COVID-19 funding issues to its website, here. If you have conducted testing for COVID-19 on uninsured patients, you may seek reimbursement from HRSA. To learn how, click here.

ADDED ON 4/24/20: HRSA has released a NOFO to promote rural Tele-emergency services with an emphasis on tele-stroke, tele-behavioral health, and Tele-Emergency Medical Services (Tele-EMS). This will be achieved by enhancing telehealth networks to deliver 24-hour Emergency Department (ED) consultation services via telehealth to rural providers without emergency care specialists. The NOFO is available here.  

ADDED ON 4/22/20: Many clinics have received disbursements from HRSA arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Distributed funds are either H8C or H8D funds. Initial reporting for H8C funds is due tomorrow, April 23; initial reporting for H8D funding is due on May 8. To learn more, please visit the HRSA website here. You may also view the slides from the 4/22/20 webinar here. Comprehensive guidance regarding H8C and H8D funding is available here.

ADDEON 4/20/2020: HRSA released its Notice of Funds Available for $15,000,000 for Tribes, Tribal Organizations and Urban Indian Organizations today. The purpose is to provide maximum flexibility to assist tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and health service providers to tribes to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus and the evolving needs in rural communities. This is a two year award with funding up to $300,000. HRSA hopes to make 50 awards. A synopsis of this opportunity may be found here. The entire Notice of Funds Available may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/19/2020: HRSA announced the availability of $15 million to allocate to Tribes, Tribal Organizations, Urban Indian Health Organizations, and health service providers to Tribes.  The funding will provide support for the Tribes to prevent, prepare and respond to COVID-19 in rural communities. A Notice of Funding Opportunity will be announced shortly, described and posted to this webpage.

ADDED on 4/9/2020: HRSA awarded more than $1.3 billion yesterday to 1,387 health centers around the nation. That included the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and Spokane’s N.A.T.I.V.E. Project. The formula for distribution of funds: Each health center will get a “base” payment of $503,000.  In addition, they will get $15 per patient, $30 for uninsured patients. A survey will be posted to the HRSA website and health centers are asked to complete the survey on a weekly basis. Site visits will be postponed until at least June. To see the list of grant awardees, click here.

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: If a FQHC is providing telehealth services within the health center’s scope of project, under the Health Center Program authorizing statute, FTCA will apply. Health centers do not need to request a change in scope to deliver in-scope services via telehealth on behalf of the health center from the provider’s home or from another location that is not a Form 5B Service Site. In addition, health centers do not need to have “Home Visits” listed on their Form 5C: Other Activities/ Locations in order to provide in-scope services via telehealth.To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: HRSA recognizes that health centers may need to change the hours of operation of their service sites during the declared emergency. No change in scope is necessary if your health center is temporarily increasing or decreasing hours of operation at one or more sites.

ADDED ON 4/6/2020 – HRSA has added a Coronavirus-related FAQ for HRSA grantees that responds to many urgent questions relating to costs, reporting, etc. That FAQ may be found here and here.

  • HRSA Rural Health has appropriated $180 million of which no less than $15 million is to be allocated for tribes, tribal organizations, UIOs, or health service providers to tribes to carry out telehealth and rural health activities.
  • HRSA will make direct payment to HRSA-funded health centers based on the following formula:
  • Base value of $50,464, plus
  • $0.50 per patient reported in the 2018 Uniform Data System (UDS), plus
  • $2.50 per uninsured patient reported in the 2018 UDS.

The awards range from approximately $50,000 to more than $300,000, with an average of approximately $70,000 per health center. Health Center Program look-alikes are not eligible for funding.

To expedite distribution of this critical funding, HRSA plans to make funds immediately available and then collect budget and activities/costs to be supported by the funding.

Health centers will need to separately track and account for their COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and response-related activities supported through this funding.

The performance period for this funding is 12 months. Funding is available for immediate use, and pre-award costs are permitted for COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and response-related expenses dating back to January 20, 2020. Health centers have flexibility to use COVID-19 funds as circumstances and needs evolve.

During this emergency period, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) are now eligible to provide telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries as distant site providers. Read more here and here. ADDED 4/4/2020.

Visit the COVID-19 Supplemental Funding for Health Centers technical assistance (TA) webpage for resources.

HOUSING/HOMELESS

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020

ADDED ON 5/22/2020: HUD has issued a Dear Lenders Letter providing significant extensions to the original COVID-19 mortgage-holder and renter forbearance issued as part of the CARES Act. To read the Dear Lenders Letter, click here.

ADDED ON 5/20/2020: HUD’s ICDBG Imminent Threat Funding will begin accepting applications on June 1 and will be awarding applications on a rolling basis. Grant ceilings have been established based on existing ICDBG annual award formulas. Grants are being awarded to prepare, prevent and respond to threats presented by COVID-19.  To review notes from the 5/20/20 webinar, click here.

ADDED ON 5/19/2020: The Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) will hold trainings for the ICDBG CARES Act Imminent Threat funding opportunity on the 20th and 21st of May. To learn more about the trainings and to sign up, please download the Tribal Leader letter here. You can download a power point presentation on the opportunity here.

ADDED ON 5/15/2020: The Office of Native American Programs issued a Implementation Notice with instructions on how to apply for Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat funding provided under the CARES Act. Tribes can begin to apply for funding beginning June 1, 2020 AND NOT BEFORE. To read the Notice, click here.

ADDED ON 5/13/2020: The Office of Native American Programs has issued guidance around reprogramming 2020 IHBG Block Grant funding to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. You can read that guidance here. An FAQ is available here.

ADDED ON 4/27/2020: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued guidance today around COVID-19 response funding available under the Indian Housing Block Grant program. In order for an Indian tribe or TDHE to receive its IHBG-CARES grant, the Indian tribe or TDHE must first submit an Abbreviated Indian Housing Plan/Annual Performance Report (IHP/APR) (Form: HUD-52737) to its ONAP Area Office. The Indian tribe or TDHE should only complete the Abbreviated IHP portion of this form to receive an IHBG-CARES grant, and will be required to complete the Abbreviated APR portion of the form at a later date.  To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 4/13/2020: HUD is waiving and establishing alternative requirements for numerous statutory and regulatory requirements for the Public Housing program, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program, and Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program. To learn more, click here.

Indian Housing Block Grant Program/Indian Community Development Block Grant: $200 million is included for the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program and $100 million is included for the Indian Community Development Block Grant program. The $200 million included for the IHBG program will be distributed as quickly as possible to Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) according to the same funding formula used to award Fiscal Year 2020 funds. Funding is intended for activities and projects designed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, and maintain operations impacted by COVID-19. The $100 million included for the ICDBG program can be used for emergencies that constitute imminent threat to health and safety. Funding is intended for activities and projects designed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. You may read the HUD COVID-19 ONAP FAQ here.

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: The Implementation Notice for the $200 million will be coming out shortly! The application will be a simplified fillable PDF with only 3 or so sections that need to get filled out. The average award for NW ONAP Tribes will be between $30,000 and $$1,800,000. NW ONAP advises tribes to identify and track incurred and future expenses. A distribution chart by tribe may be found here.

An additional $100 million will be distributed through an ICDBG competitive grant process until funds are exhausted. That Notice of Funds Available is being developed now and should be released shortly (As of HUD Call on 4/3/2020). A synopsis and NOFA will be posted to this page as soon as it is released.

Meanwhile, waivers are being developed to significantly ease the burden of operations and will be issued shortly. They will be posted to the ONAP website, here. A recording of the 4/3/2020 call together with the slides is available here. Notes from that call may be found here.

HUD recently posted a guide on eligible uses for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to support coronavirus (COVID-19) responses. The guide is a quick reference tool for grantees, such as Tribes and TDHEs, to use when contemplating how to address the effects of COVID-19 in their communities. That guide may be found here.

REGIONAL CONTACTS:

NW ONAP – (206) 220-5270

Northern Plains ONAP – (303) 672-5465

Affordable Housing and Homeless programs: More than $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. Funding will help low-income and working class Americans avoid evictions and minimize any impacts caused by loss of employment, and child care, or other unforeseen circumstances related to COVID-19, and support additional assistance to prevent eviction and for people experiencing homelessness. Funding mechanism unknown as of 4/1/2020.

Funding to Support Individuals Experiencing Homelessness: $4 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants to mitigate the impacts created by coronavirus. These funds will remain available until September 30, 2022. Funding mechanism unknown as of 4/1/2020.

Healthcare Funding Support for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: $14 billion to fund healthcare delivery and other support to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These funds will remain available until September 30, 2021. Funding mechanism unknown as of 4/1/2020.

OFFICE OF MINORITY HEALTH

Last updated on May 7th, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced a competitive funding opportunity to invest up to $40 million for the development and coordination of a strategic network of national, state, territorial, tribal and local organizations to deliver important COVID-19-related information to racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities hardest hit by the pandemic. The information network will strengthen efforts to link communities to COVID-19 testing, healthcare and social services and to best share and implement effective response, recovery and resilience strategies. To download the Notice of Funding Opportunity, click here. The response to request for proposal is May 11, 2020.

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE (IHS)

Last updated on April 29th, 2020

ADDED ON 4/29/2020: The IHS has issued guidance on the expenditure of funds distributed via formula to contracted and compacted tribal health organizations. That guidance may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/28/2020: On April 23, the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced its decision to distribute $20 million to Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) in COVID-19 relief aid from the remaining CARES Act resources. These funds will be distributed through existing Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) contracts by providing a one-time base amount for each UIO and an additional amount based on each UIO’s Urban Indian users. The Dear Tribal Leaders letter also announced a transfer of $125 million to the IHS Facilities Account for IHS and tribal health programs facilities. An additional $50 million will be allocated to IHS health programs and Tribal Health Programs for Community Health Representatives and Public Health Nursing, while $26 million will be set aside for Tribal Epidemiology Centers. The remaining funds will be used for IHS telehealth expansion, COVID-19 prevention, COVID-19 testing, cleaning of IHS facilities, and COVID-19 response and recovery messaging.To read the Dear Tribal Leaders letter, click here.

ADDED ON 4/24/2020: Congress passed a new stimulus package on 4/22 commonly referred to as Stimulus 3.5. It includes an additional $400 million for the Indian Health Service. As more information about these funds is made known, that information will be posted here.

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: The Indian Health Service was awarded $1 billion through the CARES Act, of which $450 million has been redistributed to tribes via formula; $65 million has been set-aside for electronic health records strengthening with an as yet undetermined distribution mechanism; $125 million has been added to Facilities with an as yet undetermined distribution mechanism, and the balance of $365 million to be distributed “at the discretion of the IHS Director of COVID-19 response activities.” To read the entire press release, click here.

ADDED ON 4/21/2020: The Indian Health Service announced new rates for 2020 including the new outpatient tribal encounter rate of $379, a 5.3% increase from 2019. To see the entire new rate structure, click here.

ADDED ON 4/9/2020: Rough minutes from the 4/9/2020 national consultation may be found here.

ADDED ON 4/8/20: On April 3, 2020, the Indian Health Service (IHS) in a Dear Tribal Leader and Urban Indian Organization Leaders (DTLL/DUIOLL) announced that they will be creating a new Indian IHS Opioid Grant Pilot Program (OGPP). OGPP is being funded by the $10 million increase for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program budget line funding, authorized by The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 116-6).

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: The Indian Health Service announced today the expanded use of telehealth services. Beginning today, IHS service units and their clinicians who are using the system will obtain verbal consent from patients who meet with their provider via a telehealth appointment. Six IHS sites in the Oklahoma City and Navajo Areas participated in a telehealth pilot project last week to test the Cisco Meeting system and share lessons learned. To learn more, click here.

 As an immediate step, IHS will publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in the Federal Register this spring.  The NOFO will outline details of the eligibility criteria, objectives, and funding methodology.  In general, the IHS anticipates to award up to 18 grants: one grant opportunity open to each of the IHS Areas; three grant opportunities open to Urban Indian Organizations; and three grant opportunities open to highest priority IHS Areas with a targeted focus on Maternal & Child Health. To read the IHS Tribal Leader letter about this opportunity, click here.

  • On April 3, 2020, the Indian Health Service announced the distribution of $600,000 as follows:
    • $30 million to Urban Indian Organizations through existing IHCIA contracts by providing a one-time base amount and an additional amount based upon each UIO’s Urban Indian users.
    • $570 million to the Indian Health Service Federal programs and Tribal Health Programs using existing distribution methodologies for program increases in Hospitals and Clinics, Purchased/Referred Care (PRC), Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and Mental Health funding. Tribal Health Programs will receive these one-time, non-recurring funds through unilateral modifications to their existing ISDEAA agreements.
    • The Tribal Leaders letter may be found here.
  • $64 million for COVID19 testing from the Families First Corona Virus Response Act adopted by 3/18/20. No specific information on distribution. Almost certainly will be distributed via existing 638 contract formulas. 
  • $1.032 billion to the Indian Health Service from the CARES Act adopted on 3/27/20 in critically needed resources to support the Indian Health System during the pandemic, including expanded support for medical services, equipment, supplies and public health education for HIS direct service, tribally operated and Urban Indian Organizations; expanded funding for purchased/referred care; and new investments for telehealth services, electronic health records improvement, and expanded disease surveillance by tribal epidemiology centers.
    • Not less than $450 million shall be distributed through Tribal shares and Urban Indian Organizations. 
    • Funding will be distributed via using existing distribution and Tribal share methodologies, including distribution to Tribal health programs (THPs) and UIOs through funding mechanisms authorized by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). The March 27, 2020 Tribal Leaders letter may be found here.
    • Reauthorizes SDPI at current funding levels through November 30, 2020. Allocates $25,068,493 for the period from October 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020.

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

Last updated on May 21st, 2020

ADDED ON 5/20/2020:The Indian Health Service (IHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will make awards up to $1 million each for new or continued centers that support research and research training to meet the health needs of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.  Applicant institutions must be a federally-recognized AI/AN Tribe; or a Tribal organization defined under 25 U.S.C. 1603 (25) and (26), including Tribal colleges or health boards meeting this definition; or a consortium of two or more of those Tribes or Tribal organizations.  A required Letter of Intent is due on June 24.

  • $836 million for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from the Families First Corona Virus Response Act adopted by 3/18/20. Incudes training to prevent and reduce exposure to health workers.
  • Funding Mechanism: Unknown as of 4/1/2020.

OLDER AMERICANS

Last updated on April 29th, 2020

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: The Administration for Children and Families announced nearly $1 billion to help meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities as communities implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The grants will fund home-delivered meals; care services in the home; respite care and other support to families and caregivers; information about and referral to supports; and more. Grant amounts are determined based on the formulas defined under the program authorizing statutes. The remaining $50 million will be awarded by the close of April. To read the entire press release, click here. To determine your allocation by Tribe, click here.

  • $250 million to HHS to support nutrition programs for elderly Americans.
  • Funding has been provided to states, territories, and tribes for subsequent allocation to local meal providers. For more information, click here.
  • Allocation amounts to tribes and tribal organizations may be found here.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Last updated on May 18th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/13/2020: The SBA posted formal FAQ on applying for loan forgiveness for entities receiving Payroll Protection loans. They also released a loan forgiveness application. To download the FAQ, click here. To download the application, click here.

ADDED ON 5/12/2020: Entities that have borrowed money under the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program are eligible for forgiveness of a portion of their loan. Expenses must be both “allowed” and “eligible.” 75% of funds eligible for forgiveness must be expended on personnel. All expenses eligible for forgiveness must be incurred during an eight week period beginning on the day the loan was executed and June 30, 2020 (Note: legislation is being considered to extend the forgiveness period to 16 weeks). A powerpoint presentation is available here, and an Excel spreadsheet that may be used to calculate the portion of your loan that is forgivable may be found here.

ADDED ON 5/5/2020: The Small Business Administration has made agricultural businesses eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application. Learn more, and apply, here.

ADDED ON 4/21/2020: The Trump Administration and Congress have reached agreement on replenishing the Payroll Protection Program with an additional $484 billion. It also provides funds for hospitals and for coronavirus testing.

ADDED ON 4/19/2020: The Payroll Protection Program has been suspended as of 4/16/2020 for lack of funding. There is a proposal to replenish this fund with $250 billion but it is currently being held up in Congress over procedural questions.

ADDED ON 4/6/2020: According to the SBA, “Generally, businesses engaged in investments, including real estate investments, lending, or gambling, are not eligible for an SBA 7(a) loan.” This is having a particular hard impact on Indian Country. Lobbying efforts are underway to address this issue. If you would like to contact your congressional representative about this issue, you can find his/her contact information here. If you would like to contact your U.S. Senator, you can find his/her contact information here.

  • Paycheck Protection Program: $349 billion for small businesses including tribal businesses, self-employed and independent contractors with loans up to $10,000,000 to cover up to eight weeks of salary plus an additional 25%. Repayment is deferred for six months and a portion of the loan may be forgiven.
  • Low-interest loans for Small Businesses: On March 12, SBA announced it will work directly with states to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Small businesses can receive up to $2 million in assistance. The business loan application may be found here.
  • Emergency Economic Injury Loans$10 billion in the CARES Act to provide an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan. This funding will be received within three days of applying for the loan and does not need to be repaid. Your business can use this grant to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. You can apply for an economic injury loan here.
  • Debt Relief to new SBA BorrowersThe stimulus includes $17 billion in funding to provide immediate relief to small businesses with standard SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. Under this provision, SBA will cover all loan payments for existing SBA borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan before September 27, 2020. No further guidance as of 4/1/2020.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (SAMHSA)

Last updated on May 16th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/15/2020: SAMHSA released a Notice of Funds Available for emergency response to suicide prevention. The due date is May 22. Tribes and tribal organizations are eligible. To read the NOFO, click here.

ADDED ON 5/1/2020: SAMHSA has made available a host of COVID-19-related training and technical assistance resources to providers. A list of those resources made be found here.

ADDED ON 4/8/2020: SAMHSA has provided guidelines for flexibility around grant expenditures for current SAMHSA grantees. That guidance may be found here.

  • A total of $435 million is allocated for Health Surveillance and Program Support for SAMHSA. This includes prevention, preparation, and response to COVID-19.
  • No less than $15 million is to be allocated for tribes, tribal organizations, UIOs or health/ behavioral health service providers to tribes.
  • A Notice of Funds Available was released on 4/1/2020. It is due on Friday, 4/10/2020 at end of day (EST). It makes up to $500,000 available to tribes and Urban Indian Organizations for crisis intervention services, mental and substance use disorder treatment, and other related recovery supports for children and adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  A synopsis of this opportunity is available here. The entire NOFA is available here.
  • Suicide Prevention: $50 million to provide increased support for those most in need of intervention.
  • SAMHSA Emergency Response Grants: $100 million in flexible funding to address mental health, substance use disorders, and provide resources and support to youth and the homeless during the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 Re-Budgeting Request More Than 25% or $250,000: Grant recipients have the flexibility to re-budget (e.g. 25% or less of the current budget or $250,000, whichever is less) as long as the activities are allowable under the FOA, within the scope of your grant application, and in line with the statutory requirement of the award. Grant recipients must keep documentation of all costs and SAMHSA may request this documentation during the grant period. If the re-budgeting of funds is more than 25% of the current budget or $250,000 whichever is less you MUST submit a COVID-19 post award amendment through eRA Commons.

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)

Last updated on April 29th, 2020

Although no additional funds have been added to TANF through the CARES Act, the Department of Health and Human Services offers guidance on how TANF funds may be used flexibly to address the needs of families with (or expecting) children here. The National Governor’s Association has put out a useful memo on how TANF funds may be used here.

INDIVIDUAL IMPACTS

Last updated on April 29th, 2020

ADDED ON 4/27/2020: SSI and VA recipients with dependent children under age 17 who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have not received their stimulus payment should visit the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool on IRS.gov to receive their payment.

ADDED ON 4/23/2020: The webinar scheduled for today to answer questions regarding the Individual Impact Payments has been cancelled.

ADDED ON 4/22/2020: The Internal Revenue Service has scheduled a webinar for Thursday, April 23, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, to answer questions regarding individual Economic Impact Payments. You may register for the event here.

ADDED on 4/21/2020:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a special alert for Social Security beneficiaries and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019. To receive the $500 per eligible child benefit to their soon-to-be-received $1,200 Economic Impact Payment, they must fill out a special form on the IRS website by 9:00 a.m. PST TOMORROW.

Here is the information you need to know:

  • The IRS issued a special alert for people receiving government benefits (including Social Security, Railroad Retirement, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Affairs  benefits) who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years and have a qualified dependent child
  • These individuals will automatically receive the Economic Impact Payment from the IRS, but they need to take action if they have a qualified dependent child
  • In order to add the $500 per eligible child to these payments, Social Security beneficiaries and Railroad Retirement need to fill out a form at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here
  • For Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries: The IRS needs you to fill out this form by 9:00 a.m. (PST) TOMORROW (Wednesday, April 22)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA beneficiaries with children age 16 or younger, you will have additional time to fill out the form because your Economic Impact Payment will not be sent until May or later

ADDED ON APRIL 11, 2020: Treasury offered a tool to assist non-filers apply for stimulus monies. That tool may be found here.

  • Student Loans: There will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government. It is hard to contact many of the loan servicers right now, so check your account online in the coming weeks. Once you are logged in, look for the current amount due. There, you should be able to see if the servicer has reset its billing systems so that you are showing no payment due. 90% of student loans are backed with a federal guarantee and are eligible for this relief. Interest will not accrue during this period. At the end of the suspension, keep a close eye on what your loan servicer does (or does not do) to put you back into your previous repayment mode. Servicer errors are common.
  • Retirement Funds: For the calendar year 2020, no one would have to take a required minimum distribution from any individual retirement accounts or workplace retirement savings plans, like a 401(k). That way, you aren’t forced to sell investments that may have fallen in value, which would lock in losses. If you don’t need the money now, you can let the investments sit and hope that they recover. You are still allowed to borrow from your retirement account and in fact are allowed to borrow twice the previous maximum, up to $100,000, with certification that you have been affected by COVID-19.
  • Penalty-free Forbearance and Moratorium on Foreclosures: Homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA or other federally-backed mortgages including those guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may request forbearance on payments for up to 12 months with no fees, penalties, or extra interest. The bill also includes a 60 day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions of homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA, or 184/184A loans, or whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • Charitable Donations:  For those who are in a position to itemize their deductions, donors can deduct 100 percent of their gift against their 2020 adjusted gross income, up from the current 50%. If you have $100,000 of income, you can give $100,000 to a public charity and deduct the full amount in 2020. For those who do not itemize their deductions, there is a one-time special itemization available for $300.
  • Renters:  There is a temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium for landlords who have loans backed by the federal government for the next 120 days. Those landlords cannot charges fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
  • Utilities: There is NO protection from having your utilities, including Internet service, from being shut off.

STATE SPECIFIC

Last updated on May 25th, 2020

MONTANA

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: Former U.S. Senate candidate Cora Neumann has launched We Are Montana to provide support to Montana’s tribes through the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, read here.

ADDED ON 5/6/2020: The   State of Montana has announced a number of funding opportunities with total funding of up to $1.25 billion, including:

  • Montana Department of Commerce, Montana Business Stabilization Program
  • Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Montana Innovation Grant Program
  • Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program
  • Montana Department of Commerce, Emergency Housing Assistance Program
  • Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Public Health Grants
  • Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Stay Connected Grants
  • Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Food Bank and Food Pantry Assistance
  • Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Social Services Nonprofit Grants
  • Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Telework Assistance Grants

Read more here.

ADDED ON 4/28/20: Montana Community Foundation (MCF) and Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA) have partnered to create and administer the Montana COVID–19 FundThis statewide fund will provide safety-net funding for Montana’s rural and tribal communities adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will specifically support those communities that do not have established community-specific funds.

Grants will not be made directly to individuals or private businesses or to individual nonprofits. The fund will grant directly to nonprofit intermediary organizations (community foundations, United Ways, etc.) and rural tribal communities for re-granting in the areas identified by the Montana COVID-19 Fund Steering Committee (MCF, MNA, and MSU Extension). To learn more, click here.

WASHINGTON STATE

ADDED ON 5/24/2020: The Washington State Department of Commerce announced $5 million in emergency grants is now available to the 29 federally recognized tribes in the state to bolster their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the full press release, click here.

ADDED ON 5/15/2020: The Andy Hill CARE Fund has created the COVID-19 Response Grant Program to provide up to approximately $100,000 per award to organizations (e.g., companies, universities, research institutions, etc.), local health jurisdictions, and tribal governments or entities in Washington State to support research projects at the intersection of COVID-19 and cancer. You can download the RFP here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The Department of Commerce is accepting comments on how Washington State should disperse funding received through the CARES Act, including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) programs. To learn more about this opportunity, click here. You may submit your comments to julie.montgomery@commerce.wa.gov at the Department of Commerce.

ADDED ON 5/12/2020: Humanities Washington is providing grants of between $2,500 and $5,000 to humanities and cultural non-profit organizations in Washington State facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus. Funding for this grant is provided by the CARES Act and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, click here.

ADDED ON 5/6/2020: A county-by-county list of COVD-19 funding for businesses is available here.

ADDED ON 4/28/2020: Washington State has created a dedicated webpage for all things related to the State response to the COVID-19 pandemic including support for businesses, including non-profits, and individuals. You may visit that webpage here.

Department of Revenue

ADDED ON 4/16/2020: Guidance for businesses experiencing disruptions in revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic may be found here.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

ADDED ON 4/14/2020: The Washington State Department of Commerce announced $5 million in emergency response grants for the 29 tribes across the State of Washington. “Tribal communities across the state will have access to funding to help address increased demand and costs associated with COVID-19 response”

Each tribal government will receive an immediate grant of $100,000, with the remaining $2.1 million distributed based on a formula currently under development between Commerce and tribal leaders.

Eligible expenses and activities covered under the grant include but are not limited to:

  • Costs to address public health needs in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impacts
  • The creation and operation of isolation and quarantine housing
  • Costs associated with the increased demand for social programs, such as elder care services, food distribution or behavioral health services
  • Costs associated with assisting people experiencing homelessness or housing instability and needing physical distancing and other preventative measures
  • Procurement of health care equipment, including telehealth equipment and licenses
  • Unemployment match required under the federal CARES Act
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitation supplies
  • Costs related to COVID -19 testing
  • Other expenses in agreement with the Department of Commerce

To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 4/25/2020: Washington state Department of Commerce has added an additional $10 million to its emergency response grants fund. To read more…

ADDED ON 4/12/2020: Washington State Department of Commerce announced $5 million in emergency response grants for small businesses. These grants are for up to $10,000. To learn more, click here.

Serving People Experiencing Homelessness: Immediate impact funds were made available to 501 C 3s and others addressing the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless as a result of COVID-19. Grant applications were due on March 30, 2020 and that opportunity is now closed. 

Community Development Block Grant:(CDBG) program is accepting Economic Opportunity Grant requests to fund targeted recovery services through amendments of existing CDBG Public Services Grant contracts and local partnerships. 

Eligible Applicants: Counties with a current CDBG Public Services Grant contract, recovering from significant economic, housing and public health impacts resulting from a declared emergency/disaster

Eligible Activities: CDBG public services and microenterprise assistance that address urgent economic, housing, or public health needs

Funds Available: Currently $1.8 million total, to be distributed at 120% of the county’s existing CDBG Public Services Grant, with additional amounts on a fund available basis

Due Date: As soon as possible, and within 60 days of the applicable declaration of emergency. 

For more information: Contact your county government. Click here to view available amounts by county.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Last updated on April 29th, 2020

  • Assistance to Mid-sized Businesses: The CARES Act also creates a direct loan program for businesses and eligible nonprofit outfits with 500 to 10,000 employees. These loans have interest rates up to 2% and no interest or principal due for the first six months. Companies seeking aid must agree to a few requirements, including using the loan “to retain at least 90 percent of the recipient’s workforce, at full compensation and benefits, until September 30, 2020.” The recipient must also agree to not outsource jobs, to get rid of collective bargaining agreements, and to pay dividends or stock buybacks.
  • Deferral in payroll taxes: The CARES Act allows businesses to delay the payroll taxes typically paid by employers on wages. The 6.2 percent tax on wages businesses normally pay would instead have to be paid over the following two years, with the first half due Dec. 31, 2021, and the second half due at the end of 2022.
  • Retail tax fix: The CARES Act will allow retailers, restaurateurs and hotels to either immediately deduct from their taxes the full cost of improvements to restaurant, retail, and most other property (classified as 15-year property), or allow these costs to be depreciated over 20 years in the case of a real property trade or business.
  • Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirements: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers to provide up to two weeks of fully-paid emergency sick leave to employees to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis, or receive treatment for COVID-19. In order to offset the impact to small- and medium-sized businesses, employers are provided a refundable payroll tax credit to cover 100 percent of the cost of emergency paid sick leave wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit for self-employed individuals. These requirements apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, state and local governments, and employers with employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement.
  • Federal Paid Family Leave Requirements: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act also requires employers to offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for an employee with a minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of childcare. The first two weeks are unpaid, but the employee can overlap this with the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave. This benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum of $200 per day. In order to offset the impact to small- and medium-sized businesses, employers are provided a refundable paid family leave payroll tax credit that offsets 100 percent of employer costs for providing mandated paid family leave. The credit also offsets the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. These requirements apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, state and local governments, and employers with employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement.

PRIVATE RESOURCES

Last updated on May 25th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/24/2020: Finimpact, an Israeli-based consulting firm assisting small business in the United States and Europe, has compiled a master list of grants available to assist small businesses. To visit the list of best grants for small businesses, click here.

In addition to the support and resources being made available for tribes and urban Indian organizations by the Montana Healthcare Foundation and the Empire Health Foundation, a growing number of other organizations are making resources available to Indian Country. As we become aware of those resources, we will post them here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020:

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund was established in partnership by the Billings Community Foundation and the United Way of Yellowstone County. It is receiving support from individuals, corporations, and foundations throughout our region to provide immediate and coordinated response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Fund will provide flexible resources to 501(c)3 organizations in Yellowstone County and surrounding rural communities working with citizens who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this pandemic.
  • The Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local nonprofit capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak pandemic as efficiently as possible.
  • The Fund’s first priority and focus is to distribute grants to nonprofit organizations providing disaster relief efforts and serving economically vulnerable children, families, and seniors impacted by COVID-19.

To learn more, or apply, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The Innovia Foundation will make grants to community-based organizations in Eastern Washington and North Idaho working on the frontlines to serve our region’s most vulnerable populations during this outbreak. The funds are designed to complement the work of public health officials, medical providers, businesses and governments to expand regional capacity addressing the outbreak as effectively as possible. To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: Medical Teams International is pivoting their entire organization to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to support local health systems in responding to it. With U.S. offices located in the Pacific Northwest , they are deploying resources and providing additional support to local health facilities. To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: Former U.S. Senate candidate Cora Neumann has launched We Are Montana to provide support to Montana’s tribes through the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, read here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The Pride Foundation has launched the Crisis Community Care Fund to support community groups and organizations responding to this crisis, and whose work is being impacted by the factors surrounding the spread. It is prioritizing the work of communities of color. To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The company has redeployed 2020 funding for the Alkermes Inspiration Grants program to provide up to a total of $500,000 in grants to assist nonprofit organizations in their work to urgently address COVID-19-related needs for people living with addiction, serious mental illness or cancer. The application period is now open and will run through May 20, 2020. To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: The Booz Allen Foundation has established a $1 million Innovation Fund to help nonprofits, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators at colleges and universities, and startups and small businesses harness the power of data, technology, and diverse intellectual capital to improve COVID-19 relief efforts and make a difference. The deadline to apply is June 5.  To learn more and/or apply, click here.

ADDED ON 5/14/2020: the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) has established a $50 million emergency fund through its Community Benefit Financial Company (CBFC) subsidiary to provide financial support to Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic. To learn more, click here.

NB3 – Notah Begay Foundation, has created a COVID-19 Response Fund. This donor driven fund will support two primary areas within Native American communities:
1. Access to nutritional food and clean water,
2. Access to education opportunities and youth development.

AISES – The American Indian Science and Engineering Society – has created a donor funded COVID-19 Response fund to provide $500 to Native American/Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NDN Collective has created the COVID-19 Response Project to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15-45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis.

The Seventh Generation Fund has created the Flicker Fund to direct critical resources to the most vulnerable in our already challenged communities. The Flicker Fund provides direct grant support to stressed Indigenous communities on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, where some are already facing issues of hunger, lack of access to water, and unable to secure basic hygiene and material supplies needed for everyday life.

 

SCHOOL SYSTEMS

Last updated on May 6th, 2020

Local school systems and higher education institutions: $30.75 billion for grants to provide emergency support to continue to provide educational services to their students and support the on-going functionality of school districts and institutions. Funding mechanism unknown as of 4/1/2020.

OTHER

Last updated on May 10th, 2020

ADDED ON 5/10/2020: The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced a $1.2 million grant opportunity for tribes and Native Hawaiian museums and libraries to assist with the COVID-19 emergency. Grant proposals are due on June 12. You may download the NOFO here.

  • Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement: $850 million
  • Public transit systems: $25 billion
  • Elections administration, including absentee and early voting: $400 million far short of $2B sought by voting rights advocates
  • Rural Development:
    • $25 million to support the Distance Learning and Telemedicine program.
    • $100 million is provided to the ReConnect program to help ensure rural Americans have access to broadband
  • Institute for Museum and Library Services: $50 million to expand digital access and support services.
  • National Endowment for the Art and Humanities: Provides $150 million to state arts and humanities agencies to provide grants and support arts organizations, museums, libraries, and other organizations during the coronavirus crisis. The bill includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities.
  • Federal Transit Administration: Capital and operating activities undertaken in response to COVID-19 are eligible for reimbursement under the Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307) and Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program (49 U.S.C. 5311).  FTA will permit Urbanized Area Formula Program or Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program funding to be used for COVID-19-related public transportation capital or operating expenses at an 80 percent federal share, regardless of whether operating expenses generally are an eligible expense for a recipient.

Resources for Non-Profits

Last updated on April 27th, 2020

This web page is supported by the Montana Healthcare Foundation and the Empire Health Foundation.

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