how to apply for ARPA

How to Leverage ARPA to Fund Your Hispanic Engagement Efforts

As the lingering COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities across the United States, small businesses, non-profits, and government agencies may struggle to find the funding needed to cover the costs of engaging and supporting Hispanic communities. Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides many funding opportunities to support these important efforts. Let’s take a closer look at how you can leverage ARPA funding to cover Hispanic engagement costs. 

What is the American Rescue Plan Act?

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package that was signed into law on March 11, 2021. This federal program is designed to help state and local governments recover from the ongoing economic impact of COVID-19. As the pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color, there has been an increased focus on ensuring that underserved populations are able to access critical resources and support. 

The act provides funding to support a wide range of programs and initiatives, including those focused on healthcare, education, and economic recovery. To maximize the economic mobility of vulnerable residents through assessment and targeting, reach hardest-hit communities with information about benefits and programs, and cooperate and coordinate across jurisdictional and intergovernmental lines, the National League of Cities (NLC) recommends that local governments and organizations think big and innovatively, and address gaps in financial services. 

There is considerable flexibility in how ARPA funds can be allocated, presenting communities with a unique and important opportunity to organize and demand the equitable and creative allocations of funds. Advocates can urge decision-makers, including elected officials, to fund projects and communities that have historically been left out, and push for change and accountability to expand the imagination for what is possible and make those demands, as recommended by Community Catalyst. Although there is no requirement for public input or any form of public comment period, this is a unique opportunity for funding and resources that nonprofits and communities can access. 

How can organizations access ARPA funding for Hispanic engagement?

While the ARPA does not specifically allocate funds for Hispanic engagement, there are several ways that small businesses, non-profits and government agencies can leverage this funding to cover these costs. 

1. Take advantage of ARPA funding for community health initiatives.

One of the key areas of focus for ARPA funding is community health initiatives. Non-profits, businesses and government agencies can use this funding to support programs that promote health and wellness among Hispanic communities. This could include programs that provide access to healthcare services, mental health resources, and nutrition education. 

2. Leverage ARPA funding for economic recovery initiatives.

Another area of focus for ARPA funding is economic recovery initiatives. This funding can be used to support programs that promote economic stability and growth in Hispanic communities. This could include programs that provide job training, entrepreneurship support, and financial literacy education. 

3. Apply for ARPA funding through state and local government programs.

Many state and local government programs are allocating ARPA funding to community initiatives, which can be applied to support Hispanic engagement efforts. It’s important to research available funding opportunities and submit a strong grant application to increase your chances of securing funding. For more information about applying for ARPA funds through state and local programs, refer to the Maryland Governor’s Grant Office and resources available through Maryland Nonprofits, or via the federal government at 

4. Collaborate with other organizations to access ARPA funding.

Collaborating with other non-profits and government agencies can also help you access ARPA funding for Hispanic engagement efforts. By pooling resources and expertise, you can develop more robust and sustainable programs and initiatives that are more likely to secure funding. Partnering with organizations that have a strong track record of securing funding can also increase your chances of success. 

Increase Your Chances of Securing Funding to Maximize Hispanic Engagement

To leverage ARPA funds for economic mobility, it is important to center racial equity, invest in public health first, leverage multiple resources, be innovative, proactive, and strategic, seek collaborative solutions, and work with transparency. Local units of government are most likely to have funding opportunities, so nonprofits interested in accessing ARPA funding are encouraged to proactively reach out to local elected officials with suggestions for potential partnerships. 

The American Rescue Plan Act provides an opportunity for small businesses, non-profits and government agencies to access the funding they need to support Hispanic engagement efforts. Leveraging funding for community health and economic recovery initiatives, applying for state and local government funding programs, collaborating with other organizations, and submitting strong grant applications may increase the likelihood of securing the funding to implement meaningful initiatives to support Hispanic communities. 

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