Invest ARPA Funding in Effective and Affordable Resident Communication

Saturday, May 28, 2022
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American Rescue Plan Act provides funds to local governments

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, 2021.  It provides $350 billion in funding for state and local governments.  The state funding is approximately $195 billion with $25.4 billion distributed equally among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The remaining amount of funding is distributed by way of a formula based on unemployment statistics.  For many local governments, the funding provided to their communities under ARPA is substantial and can offer the potential to not only offer remediation to the negative health and economic impacts of the pandemic, but to provide money for projects that will grow and develop important new areas.

How should we spend our ARPA funding?  

ARPA funding is currently one of the most frequently discussed topics of local governments across the country.  Local governments are in the midst of deciding where to invest their ARPA funding in order to get the best return for their communities.  What types of programs and projects are other local governments using their ARPA funds for?  There are a wide variety of areas where communities are looking to improve, and the funding is the way they are able to achieve their plans under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Many local governments are sharing via public websites how they are spending their funding.  Besides using the funding to replace lost revenue, local governments are spending ARPA money in the areas of community aid, economic and workforce development, government operations, housing, infrastructure, public health, public safety and much more.  Given that ARPA funding can be used for numerous plans and programs, many municipalities are considering addressing deficiencies that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light.  As soon as the pandemic hit, many local governments were faced with lock downs, limited staff, canceled events and reduced resident services. Local government had to, almost overnight, change the way it did business and it had no good way to communicate these changes to residents.  For many, the pandemic clearly identified one of local government’s largest shortcomings: resident communication.    

For instance Arapahoe County, Colorado is spending $1.5 million of their ARPA funding in the area of public health and communications.  Arapahoe is increasing their public communications related to public health measures and other safety information in order to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.  Similarly, Albuquerque, New Mexico has dedicated $150,000 to improve their communication in regards to public services, COVID-19 resources, public healthy orders, economic recovery programs and much more.  Albuquerque believes that by improving resident communication on these topics, they can educate their population and keep them safer and healthier.

Monterery County, California has also invested $50,000 of their ARPA funding in media programs to help better communication to the Spanish-speaking community.  Their goal is to improve public satisfaction in this community through increased and targeted communication.  Bottom line, many local governments are recognizing the benefits of improved resident communication for not only resident satisfaction, but for the ability to improve public health and safety.

Invest in better resident communication - Savvy Citizen

Local governments understand that residents want not only safety information, but helpful day-to-day information as well.  Websites, newsletters and notifications systems, like Savvy Citizen, provide the most effective tool that enables local governments to successfully reach their residents on a wide variety of topics.  Savvy Citizen is considered a comprehensive notification system that is designed to handle all types of information to residents.  Although it can send emergency alerts with immediate urgency 24/7/365, it can also communicate any other type of information that the local government wants to send directly to residents.

Would your community benefit from Savvy Citizen?  If you are interested in improving communication and implementing Savvy Citizen in your community, our team is here to help you.  Pricing is transparent, and an instant quote is available here.  Our sales team is available to speak with you on questions you may have prior to joining, or to discuss options to use your ARPA funding for this purchase.  We can provide your community with custom contract terms in order to comply with the requirements of your ARPA spend. Please feel free to contact us.

 

 

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