Baltimore City is getting a big sum of aid from the federal government. Broadband and small businesses figure to play a key role in the plans.
On Monday, Mayor Brandon Scott laid out the priorities and process for distributing the $641 million Baltimore City will receive as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the community.
For those who might be feeling lost in the flurry of COVID-19 relief bills, the American Rescue Plan Act was the law passed by Congress in March. It had many different pots of funding to spread its $1.9 trillion around, like a new child tax credit and rental assistance. Among those buckets was a $65.1 billion allocation for cities. Baltimore is in line for $641 million from that funding.
On Monday, Scott said the city will use the funding to make investments in a handful of priority areas, such as addressing COVID-19 and violence reduction. Right alongside them, it will be funding:
- Economic recovery, with a focus on Black, Brown, and women-owned businesses, as well as artists and creators
- Workforce development
- Broadband and digital equity
“In a city like Baltimore with deep systemic challenges even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach — with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity,” Scott said in a statement broadcast on Facebook.