American Rescue Plan Act Funds

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American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. This legislation established the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), which provides significant resources to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Treasury has allocated $18.3 million to the City of Iowa City. The City received approximately half of this amount in May 2021 and anticipates receiving the remaining balance around May 2022. SLFRF dollars are intended to both address emergency stabilization needs and help localities make long-term, transformative investments (especially in underserved populations) through careful planning and extensive public input. All funds must be expended and projects completed by December 31, 2026.

Iowa City's Use of Funds

City Council has identified guiding principles to inform the process of prioritizing ideas for use funds.

City Council and staff will work collaboratively with residents, businesses, non-profits, and other community partners and stakeholders to ensure a transparent process that is aligned with community needs. Additionally, the City will seek to coordinate with Johnson County and neighboring cities to maximize the transformative impact of these funds and the many other funding streams and programs included in the American Rescue Plan Act.

Request for Statements of Interest: Inclusive Economic Development Support for Underestimated Businesses & Entrepreneurs

The City has committed $4 million in ARPA funding to support inclusive economic development for underestimated businesses and entrepreneurs located in Iowa City. The City is seeking Statements of Interest within two categories:

  1. Physical Space for multicultural business hubs, business collaboration spaces (shared retail, kitchens, etc.), and youth entrepreneurial and community centers.
    • Funding Available: $3 million
    • Eligible Expenses: land acquisition, construction, remodeling, furniture and equipment, technology, and associated soft costs.
  2. Business Support Programs that include small business grants and/or financing programs, technical assistance, community navigating services, and similar support networks. Projects that make long-term impact will be prioritized.
    • Funding Available: $1 million
    • Eligibility Expenses: Programs that offer support to individual businesses (at this time, businesses should not apply for individual loans, grants, or technical support. Such opportunities will arise through programs that are created as a result of funding awards in this category).

Statements of Interest are due by 4:00 p.m. on May 1, 2023.

Please review the Request for Statements of Interest document for additional program details, eligibility requirements, and submission requirements. The Request for Statements of Interest is available in French, Arabic, and Spanish.

Questions about this program can be directed to Deputy City Manager Redmond Jones at 319-356-5012 or Below is a recording of a presentation given by Deputy City Manager Jones that outlines the purpose and process of this program.

Public Input

Residents may provide ongoing public input by e-mailing comments in their preferred language to

An initial round of public input opportunities was held throughout summer 2021. Responses were compiled for City Council to discuss at their September 7, 2021 work session:

Previous public outreach efforts:

  • Diversity Market (July 10, 2021)
  • Farmer's Market (July 24, 2021)
  • Listening Session at Mercer Park (August 11, 2021)
  • Online survey offered in English, Spanish, Arabic, and French (Survey closed Aug. 30, 2021)
  • Informational flyers distributed in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic

U.S. Treasury Final Rule and Guidance

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