Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have launched a new resource to help mayors across the country identify, obtain, and retain billions in Federal COVID-19 recovery funding.

In a press release, the two organizations said that “cities are struggling to navigate rules associated with multiple Federal funding streams, including the American Rescue Plan, and need support to properly maximize and hold on to response and recovery funds for their cities.”

The program, dubbed the COVID Federal Assistance e311 program, provides U.S. cities with a free searchable website to find answers on the rules and regulations governing the use of Federal funds. A press release said that the program leverages philanthropy to provide access to a team of experts from some of the leading emergency management firms in the country to answer questions from cities to help expedite the flow of resources to them.

“Mayors have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since day one, and now they’re working to lead the economic recovery, too,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg, and the 108th Mayor of New York City. “But to access the Federal funding that is available to them, they’ll need to navigate a complicated maze of regulations and paperwork. To help mayors stay focused on the crisis at hand, our team will support city halls across the country as they go through the process of applying for and securing Federal funds. And by helping mayors unlock these critical resources, we can help accelerate our national recovery.”

The new website is part of a broader partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which has included more than a dozen webinars teaching municipal officials how to access, spend, and retain Federal funding for COVID response and recovery as part of their City Fiscal Tracking and Federal Reimbursement Initiative.

“Mayors want to invest these much-needed Federal dollars in rebuilding their communities and creating an equitable economic recovery,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “This e311 service will help mayors follow the rules and make sure they keep every Federal dollar they receive.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs