SAN MARCOS — The City of San Marcos recently announced a $3 million COVID-19 Nonprofit Community Grant Program in an effort to help nonprofit organizations that serve San Marcos residents and have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city debuted the program last week, which will use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a federal COVID-19 relief program.
The parameters for the ARPA explain that cities can use the funds to help businesses that were negatively impacted by the pandemic, to provide premium pay for essential workers, to make provisions of government services or to make investments in infrastructure.
San Marcos is collaborating with the North County COVID Relief Fund to administer the grants and will rely on leadership from the Coastal Community Foundation, Impact Cubed and Rancho Santa Fe Foundation throughout the program process.
Program Administrator Sharyn Goodson told The Coast News that the application is now open and that funds administrated will depend on community needs, each nonprofit’s size and each nonprofit’s needs.
“COVID has really been very difficult for everybody, and nonprofits have suffered as well. They’re on the front lines of needing to help the most vulnerable members of our community,” Goodson said. “At the same time, their fundraising has really been impacted because they haven’t been able to have their regular in-person events or meet with donors in person. So, it’s been tough for them to bring in the funds that they need to bring in to support that extra demand.”
The city will receive a total of $18.3 million as part of the federal COVID relief program and received the first half on May 19, with the second half expected in May 2022.
“The City of San Marcos has found creative ways to spend federal relief funds that will greatly impact our underserved populations,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “We see this as a way to lift our community up after an incredibly challenging pandemic.”
The San Marcos City Council also allocated funds to address the Fiscal Year 21/22 budget deficit, assistance to the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos for tenant improvements, the previously planned Climate Action Plan (CAP) Electric Vehicle Charger Grant Program, the conversion of the remaining balance of Business Sustainability Program (BSP) loans into grants, and the creation of the COVID-19 Non-Profit Community Grant Program.
“The goal with these funds… was to deal with our own internal issues… but also to push the money out into the community, because that seems clearly what the federal government’s goal was,” Griffin said.