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County accepting CARES Act grant proposals

LIHU‘E — The county is now accepting proposals across six different sector areas in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The county received $28,715,551 as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds as a sub-recipient of the over $862 million received by the state.

The money was split up into direct support, economic and supply-chain resiliency, and response and preparedness.

The county is looking for sector projects that include meal-delivery programs to high-risk groups, nonprofit economic-loss support for increased services like childcare and other community services, mental health and domestic violence prevention, agriculture assistance, transforming tourism and economic diversification, and support for new temporary hires in the way of agriculture, information technology and conservation.

Nicholas Courson, a project manager at Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency, hosted a webinar on Monday to explain the application process.

Only proposals that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that can be completed before the end of the year are eligible.

“We are on an extremely expedited timeline,” Courson said.

Organizations may submit proposals for different and separate projects in different sector areas. Overhead costs may not exceed more than 5% of the proposed budget.

Proposals that are incomplete or ambiguous will be denied, Courson said.

The county must submit a monthly report to the state each month, and requests that organizations be willing to submit timely reports.

“We’re talking about a lot of money in a really short amount of time,” Courson said.

The county has allocated $9.25 million toward food support, grants for nonprofits, mental health service grants, small business grants and other programs; $11.1 million toward agricultural assistance grants, tourism and economic-diversification grants, emergency workforce funding, first responder assistance; and $8.4 million toward housing and houseless-sheltering initiatives, county-wide anticipation stations, personal protective equipment and agencies like KEMA.

All proposals will be screened subject to the county’s grant-review process, and notifications of approval will be made by July 9.

A small-business grant program is forthcoming.

The CARES Act request for proposals can be found at kauaiforward.com/rfp, along with frequently-asked questions, the state handbook on the relief fund and a relief fund guidebook.

Proposals must be received by Wednesday, June 24, at 4:30 p.m. electronically to grants@kauaiforward.gov. Questions about the application process can be sent to ncourson@kauai.gov.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

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