Today, Governor Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) launched the MEMA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program to help relieve the financial burdens on counties and municipalities caused by this unprecedented pandemic.

In House Bill 1799 and Senate Bill 3047, MEMA was allocated $70,000,000 of CARES Act money to assist counties and municipalities with their COVID-19 expenses.

"Hopefully it can help keep more people on the job, and prevent more layoffs," said Governor Tate Reeves. "It’s not enough to overcome the terrible cost of COVID-19, but it’s something. It’s necessary. And we’re going to do everything we can to get it out quickly and efficiently."

Through FEMA’s COVID-19 Economic Disaster Declaration, counties, municipalities, and specific nonprofits are eligible for public assistance. While FEMA reimburses 75% of those approved expenses, some entities struggle to meet the 25% match. Through the MEMA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program, the burden is now lifted from the counties and municipalities to provide that match.

Since not all COVID-19 expenses are eligible for federal reimbursement through FEMA, SB 3047 details what other expenses can be covered by the CARES Act funds. The allocation of funds from the Relief Program is based on the county or municipality’s population as listed in the 2010 U.S. Census. If a government entity’s costs are not entirely covered by FEMA’s reimbursement, MEMA will work with remaining CARES Act funds to help ensure a 100% reimbursement.

The CARES Act funding application process will be open from August 3- October 15. Information on how to apply for CARES Act funding will be available by July 31 on MEMA’s website at msema.org. According to SB 3047, reimbursements must begin August 15. Monies must be obligated by November 30 or will be returned to the Governor.

Counties and municipalities can apply for public assistance through FEMA’s Grants Portal now by visiting grantee.fema.gov.

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