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The CARES Act & Technology: How Relief Fund Can Help City Governments

CARES Act relief fund for local governments

What is the CARES Act and how can it help you respond more timely to resident needs? And what technology tools are available for helping your employees work securely and succinctly in a remote environment?

Among the countless entities that COVID-19 afflicted, local governments were certainly a key victim to the pandemic. Local city employees were among the most needed to respond to the public health crisis and provide necessary resources for residents within a municipality.

According to the National League of Cities, “By providing the permits and approvals for both commercial, educational, and public services, cities and towns are the primary gate through which a safe and efficient re-opening will occur. Reduced revenues and personnel will only make this process more difficult, placing a significant and easily avoidable drag on re-opening efforts nationwide.”

Some closed their doors to their public in varying degrees. Others sent employees home. Suddenly, technology resources (laptops, firewalls, cameras, etc.) became a vital piece to the workflow sustainability puzzle.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act creates a unique and advantageous procurement opportunity for local and state governments needing technology resources for a remote workforce. But they need to act fast.

What is the CARES Act and how can it help you respond more timely to resident needs? And what technology tools are available for helping your employees work securely and succinctly in a remote environment?

5 FAQs Regarding the CARES Act and Procuring Technology Resources

1. What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, provides for payments to state and local governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. In essence, they can help harden these agencies from COVID-19 challenges through strategic use of technology.

The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that:
  • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19),
  • Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government and,
  • Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

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2. Where can it help city or state entities?

The CARES Act can potentially provide reimbursement for technology that was not accounted for in the most recently approved budget, when work from home scenarios were not considered relevant.
Such items might include:

  • laptops for remote employees working from home
  • additional VPN licenses so that employees can securely work remotely
  • Rack-mounted network power strips that can actually connect to the Internet and allow for remote reboot
  • Cloud-based VoIP Phone System that interacts seamlessly with mobile devices for anywhere/anytime access
  • Video conferencing solutions to establish personal connections with remote partners, customers, and co-workers

3. Who should you consult?

One viable resource available to city governments is technology consultation with a reputable technology provider. By relying on subject matter experts on next steps for technology implementation, these government entities can both protect themselves and benefit from peace of mind.

4. When should you act?

Time is of the essence to take advantage of available funds. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, the deadline is Dec. 30, 2020.

5. How can you get started?

More information on CARES Act and how to get started can be found here.
However, as the same with so many other city operations, we recommend a thorough consultation with a reputable technology vendor, well-versed in the methodologies and makeup of a remote workforce.

Datamax is ready and willing to consult with you for taking optimal advantage of CARES Act funds.

A Datamax Business Technology Alignment Analysis, a critical first step in this process, includes a full network discovery and even end-user interview to determine needs before creating a customized plan for your remote work environment.

schedule your technology assessment today!

Topics: Unified Communications Coronavirus Remote Work Work From Home