NON-PROFIT organizations and small businesses will soon receive assistance through the American Rescue Plan Act, Secretary of Finance David DLG Atalig said.

He said $10 million has been set aside for non-profit organizations and $20 million for small businesses.

Atalig said the funds will be disbursed in the next couple of weeks.

He explained that these funds are provided under Section 602(a) of the ARPA and will require the organizations to submit requests to the Office of the Governor.

Copies of these requests should also be provided to the Department of Finance so it can be aware of which groups are seeking assistance, Atalig said.

He noted that most non-profit organizations have requested help to meet payroll.

The Department of Finance has already received requests for assistance from at least 10 non-profit organizations, he added.

Private contractors who have loaded equipment or other items relating to the CNMI Covid-19 response at all ports of entry can also receive ARPA funds, Atalig said.

In addition, a program will roll out in the next few weeks that will help boost small businesses through these federal funds, he said.

Funds for small businesses are also available through the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority and the Marianas Public Land Trust, Atalig said.

Companies are required to submit a spending plan, complete with a justification for the amount of financial assistance requested.

These needs must be related to the CNMI’s Covid-19 response, including programs or services —such as offering premium pay to workers — that can help the community amid the ongoing pandemic.

Once the requests are approved, the companies will be held accountable for the funds to ensure that what is indicated on paper is also reflected in reality.

If found to be non-compliant, the company will be required to return these funds.

“If it’s giving their people premium pay or helping them comply with any business and regulatory requirements, whether it’s having plexiglass or helping them with social-distance requirements, there’s funding to help them,” Atalig said.

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