With vaccines on the rise and the hope of returning to a new kind of normal on the horizon, businesses are navigating new modes of operation.
Indoor concentrations of viral particles are higher than outdoor concentration levels, which are dispersed even with light wind. This makes the rate of spread for viral particles greater indoors.
Along with using a layered mitigation strategy, which includes physical distancing, wearing a face mask, hand hygiene, and vaccination, businesses are encouraged to use ventilation mitigation strategies to lower the rate at which viral particles can be ingested.
The CDC recommends:
Recent reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 particles, the virus that causes COVID-19, hang in the air. This suggests that the virus can still be spread by open-air transmission due to lingering air particles.
One way businesses can keep their doors open, and their patrons safe is by keeping their air clean.
On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a stimulant act to improve the economy and help businesses overcome the impact of the health crisis.
In addition to the American Rescue Plan Act, businesses within certain sectors can access funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA).
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides $126 billion in direct relief. This bill allocates the most money for education systems (around $168 billion overall). Its purpose is to aid schools’ reopening efforts, address learning loss, and create a healthy learning environment for students and teachers by improving indoor air quality in school buildings.
Through ARP, small businesses can apply for multiple programs, including grants offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA). These include the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for low-income businesses. These funds can be used towards working capital, normal operating expenses. The EIDL Advance (see FAQ here) is also available for low-income businesses. The loan has a 30-year maturity, and the funds can be used towards working capital, normal operating expenses.
ARP directs a portion of funds to the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), which supports the education sector in accessing improvements towards indoor air quality.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed in March 2020. It allocated $13.2 billion to facilitate online learning and assist schools in purchasing PPE (personal protective equipment) for teachers and products to sanitize classrooms.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) was signed in December 2020. It allocates $54.3 as supplemental budgetary relief for reopening in targeted sectors.
Under CRRSA is ESSER II:
ESSER II is well documented. Local education agencies (LEAs) can use these funds for anything in section 18003(d) of CARES, including planning for long-term closures, training stuff, purchasing sanitization supplies, purchasing educational technology, summer learning activities, and any other activities needed to maintain operations.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) grant opportunities can be accessed through the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
There are many local programs available as well. For example, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offers its COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance program, which can be used to purchase indoor air quality systems, portable systems, and upgrades. You should be able to find local legislation that supports indoor air quality assistance by searching for the “COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance program” and your state or county.
From the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform, funds are accessible through the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds. You can view the available funds by county. View the NACo analysis here. Uses for this fund include:
Grants offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA) include the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) (see FAQ here and Application Checklist here). SVOG can be used to refund customer tickets (even from 2020), reimburse owners, pay down debt, pay taxes, pay towards interest-bearing accounts, or make improvements to the structure and HVAC. See information on how to apply below.
Health Care Providers
One primary aspect of CARES was designed for health care provider relief. See the HHS program to apply for general distribution and reimbursement.
ARP directs a portion of funds to the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), supporting the education sector in access improvements towards indoor air quality. ESSER I and II are funded by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Local education agencies (LEAs) can use these funds for anything in section 18003(d) of CARES, including planning for long-term closures, training stuff, purchasing sanitization supplies, purchasing educational technology, summer learning activities, and any other activities needed to maintain operations.
Other materials for the educational sector can be found on our blog here.
Read how to apply for ESSER I, ESSER II, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant below:
The CARES Act was enacted in March 2020 and included $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund (ESF). ESF allocated funds accordingly:
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund dollars were appropriated to state education agencies (SEAs) based on the previous year’s Title I shares. Ninety percent was allocated to local education agencies that received a Title I allocation in the most recent fiscal year, and the remaining 10% was reserved for state activities. LEA allocations are calculated using the Title I formula; however, relief funds will not be subject to Title I requirements.
Who is eligible: A set amount of funds is allocated for each state. Therefore, qualified applicants (local educational agencies; LEAs) must go through their state educational agency (SEA). Only LEAs who have received an FY 2019 Title I, Part A subgrant for the school year 2019-2020 are eligible to receive ESSER formula funds (with the exception being new charter schools that did not exist during that time). Please visit this FAQ on how the funds can be used.
How to apply: LEAs must submit a local application with their SEA. Your district is only allowed so much, so you have to look up that amount first. You then must go through your state’s Board of Education. Through your state’s Board of Education, identify how much your district gets and portals for applying. As part of your application, you’ll have to develop some areas for allowable funds use, such as summer learning, mental health services, and air purifier technology.
Under the ESSER II, grants are distributed to local education agencies (LEAs) through state education agencies (SEAs), including charter schools with new LEAs. This grant allocates emergency relief funds related to the COVID-19 impacts.
Related Legislation: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021
(CRRSA), section 313 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Sections 18001, 18003, 18005 – 18008
FAQ: ESSER II Fact Sheet
ESSER II is available from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2023.
ESSER II funds can be used in the same way as ESSER I funds (CARES Act) and address learning loss and prepare schools for reopening, including testing, repairing, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.
Who is eligible: Eligibility is the same as ESSER I.
How to apply: The application process for ESSER II is much the same as ESSER I. Access your state’s Board of Education website to identify the amount allocated for your LEA and how to apply.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, established by ARP, provides emergency assistance to restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.
RRF provides funding for restaurants and other eligible businesses. This program offers restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss (up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location). Funds do not have to be repaid as long as they are used no later than March 11, 2023.
Who is eligible: Eligible entities are those who have experienced revenue losses due to the pandemic and include the following entity types:
How to apply: You can apply through SBA-recognized Point of Sale (POS) vendors (which include Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha), and Oracle) or directly through SBA’s online application portal. If you are working with Square or Toast, you do not need to register beforehand on the application portal. Tax documentation is required, and additional documentation is required for brewpub, tasting room, taproom, brewery, winery, distillery, bakery, and inns.
SVOG was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and then it was amended by ARP. The program allocates over $16 billion in grants for shuttered venues, administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants can qualify for a grant amount equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with a maximum of $10 million available for a single award. $2 billion is also reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
Who is eligible: The following entities are eligible:
Note that the entity must have been in operation since February 29, 2020. A venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount. For eligible entities operating by January 1, 2019, grants of 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less, will be given. For eligible entities operating after January 1, 2019, grants will be given for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019; multiply this by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.
How to apply: Applicants were processed under a schedule; we are now under supplemental funding, but businesses can still apply under priorities:
First priority (first 14 days of grant award period): Those entities that suffered at least a 90% loss in gross revenue between April 2020 and December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second priority (next 14 days): Entities that suffered a 70% or greater gross revenue loss during the same time period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third priority (beginning 28 days after first and second priorities): Entities that suffered a 25% or greater earned revenue loss between any quarter in 2019 and the corresponding quarter in 2020.
Supplemental funding (available after all priority periods): Recipients of first, second, and third priority round awards who suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss for the most recent calendar quarter (as of April 1, 2021, or later).
Navigating reopening after COVID restrictions is extremely difficult; however, receiving these funds can make all the difference in how your business can operate and succeed as we reopen.
Consult with your community, your local authorities, and state legislation to understand what you can do. Seek government funding to offset the cost of reopening, from paying your workers, reimbursing debt payments, and upgrading HVAC equipment.
Whether you are ready to upgrade your HVAC equipment or you want to understand what government relief your business is eligible for, reach out to Sanalife Wellness to ask about our indoor air purification technology. Our sales representations can guide you through this complicated process.