The County is accepting applications for federal funding from organizations serving vulnerable groups as it seeks to alleviate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richland County received $16 million in emergency federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County will distribute those funds to help small businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that were impacted by COVID-19.
Eligible organizations can apply for funding online via ZoomGrants through Friday, Sept. 30: https://bit.ly/rc-arpagrant.
Applicants may apply in up to three of the following categories, listed with the amount of funding available. A separate application is required for each category:
- Small businesses (501(c) certificate not required) - $1 million
- Nonprofits - $1 million
- Workforce training - $1 million
- Education assistance - $1 million
- Home repairs for seniors - $1 million
- Addressing food insecurity - $2 million
- Broadband services in underserved areas - $2 million
- Affordable housing - $4 million
- Services for unhoused people - $2 million
- Youth and recreational services - $1 million
The County will host two information and training sessions for organizations interested in applying for ARPA funding. They will be in Council Chambers on the second floor of the County Administrative Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, at:
- 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12
- 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13
All applications will be reviewed by a qualified third party to ensure that the project and use qualify for ARPA funding. A committee will then review qualifying applications and award funding based on competitive criteria for each category.
For technical assistance with applications, call 803-576-1355 or 803-576-5459. Learn more about ARPA on the County’s website: www.richlandonline.com/arpafunding.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Renters who need help paying rent and utility bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic can also apply for assistance through Richland County in September.
The County is accepting a final round of applications for rental and utility assistance through its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Eligible residents can apply online through Sept. 30: portal.neighborlysoftware.com/erap-richlandcountysc.
Those who have previously applied for ERAP need not reapply; however, applicants should be prepared to provide updated documentation to determine eligibility and accurate assistance. Richland County will review applications for completeness and priority status as long as funding is available, in accordance with guidelines set by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
For residents who need help completing the ERAP application, Richland Library is offering assistance. Applicants can schedule an appointment with a member of the library’s social work team by calling 803-509-8371, texting 803-386-8506 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To date, Richland County has helped more than 4,000 households and approved more than $26 million in aid for residents through its two Emergency Rental Assistance programs.
For more information, visit the ERAP page of the County website: www.richlandcountysc.gov/ERA.
The County will host a news conference about ARPA and ERAP at noon Thursday, Sept. 8 in the fourth-floor conference room of the Richland County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. Councilwoman Gretchen Barron (District 7) and County staff will be on hand to answer questions about both programs.
To arrange media coverage, email Richland County Public Information Director Susan O’Cain at o’email@example.com.