News release from Mayor’s Office:
The City of Bridgeport announced today that it is making $25 Million available to Bridgeport small businesses and non-profit organizations through the American Rescue Plan. This first release of funding is part of the $110 million awarded to Bridgeport as part of the American Rescue Plan to respond to the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this summer, the City of Bridgeport sought public input on how to spend the American Rescue Plan Act funds through a public comment period, consisting of a community input survey–which ran for three weeks in June–and a public hearing before the City Council on June 15th. The survey and public hearing were designed to ensure that the allocation of the ARP funds appropriately reflects the priorities of the Bridgeport community. The City is now seeking proposals from small businesses and non-profits in the following areas:
Small Business Relief
· Small Business Expansion
· Storefront Improvements
· Affordable Housing, Rental Assistance, and Homelessness Assistance
· Visual and Performing Arts
· Domestic Violence, Mental Health, and/or Addiction Services
· Faith Based Initiatives
· Nutrition Insecurity
· Public Safety & Crime Prevention
· Residential Weatherization Services
· Workforce Development
· Youth and Education
· Community Health Services
· Second Chance and Reentry
HOW TO APPLY
· Each request for proposals is available on the City website at www.bridgeportct.gov/arp, and Bid Sync: https://www.bidsync.com/DPX?ac=powersearch&srchoid_override=127467
· Each area of funding has its own set of programmatic/expenditure parameters, eligibility requirements, and funding ranges.
· Grant awards will only be given to Bridgeport-based small businesses and non-profits.
· All awards for programming under the ARPA grant must demonstrate either an expansion of existing services or new/innovative programming.
Two hard copies of applications for funding are due to the Purchasing Department by no later than 2 P.M. on August 31, 2021. Late applications will not be considered.
· Once all applications are submitted, selection committees for each RFP consisting of three or more non-conflicted representatives from pertinent city departments, the City Council, and the community will be convened to review the applications for each area of funding.
· Selection committees will approve awards for the first year of funding, with the potential for non-profit service contracts to be renewed for an additional two years if funding is available and if the grantee has complied with program requirements and reporting.
Additional City ARP Allocations:
In addition to the small business and nonprofit opportunities, the City has committed the following allocations with the American Rescue Plan Act funds:
· $100,000 over four years for additional summer youth hiring.
· $600,000 over four years for additional programs for Mayor’s Summer Youth Initiative.
· $500,000 for relocation assistance to assist Bridgeport residents facing eviction.
· $8 million to the WPCA for the design of the new West End wastewater treatment plant to offset the financial burden on ratepayers.
· $8 million for broadband infrastructure across the city, (RFP to be released at a later date).
The City continues to explore other measures to address priorities in the Bridgeport community, including flooding issues, improving city cleanliness, providing additional social services, and expanding healthcare access through a new community-based clinic.
Mayor Ganim stated, “The American Rescue Plan funding gives us an important opportunity to reset and to bring the City of Bridgeport back better and stronger than it was before the pandemic. I strongly encourage the members of our small business and non-profit communities to come up with creative and innovative proposals to address the negative impacts of COVID-19 in Bridgeport. Together, we can create lasting change for our city and its residents.”
Council President Aidee Nieves stated, “We are very excited to announce these funding opportunities for our Bridgeport small businesses that were negatively impacted by COVID-19, as well as our non-profits that have worked very hard over the last two years to address the challenges that our community faced throughout the pandemic. My hope is that many businesses and organizations will apply for funding across the city, and that we will see tangible results for our residents.”
About the American Rescue Plan
The Federal Government, through the American Rescue Plan, has allocated $350 billion in direct funding to eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. The City of Bridgeport has been allocated $110 million to spend through December of 2024. Funding must be used to help respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Treasury Department.