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$353G Awarded to Nonprofits

ARPA ad-hoc grants aid in COVID-19 recovery. The work of 13 local nonprofits just got a little bit easier with the announcement from the city of Lowell on Wednesday that the organizations had been selected to receive up to $30,000 in ad-hocAmerican Rescue PlanAct grants.

“The recipients of this grant program have displayed an unwavering commitment to the well-being of our city’s residents,” City Manager Tom Golden wrote in a statement. “With this crucial support, our community can take decisive steps towards rebuilding and revitalizing our local economy.”

ARPA was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021. Lowell received a $75.9 million allocation to assist with the ongoing pandemic recovery effort of which more than $4 million was set aside to support local nonprofits.

In February, the administration started accepting applications from eligible nonprofits, businesses and community-based organizations for varousARPA programs such as the Economic Resilience Grant for $750,000, Storefront Improvement Grant for $500,000, Facilities Rehabilitation Grant for $2 million and theARPAAd-Hoc Projects & Services for $500,000.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make transformative investments throughout the city,” Golden said at the time. “These four grants today are just the beginning of the City Council’s strategy to reinvigorate Lowell’s economy through the use of funds from the American Rescue PlanAct.”

The $352,772 amount is round one of the funding process. In total, the city received 27 applications requesting $795,000 in funds.

The program, which was open to area nonprofits, community partners and local businesses and residents, sought proposals that may otherwise fall outside of traditional grant programs. The funding is designed to support unique proposals for projects and/or services that could have a positive impact on the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The recipients are:

  • Lowell Youth Leadership Program, Inc., $30,000 for LYLP 2023 summer camp
  • Lowell Summer Music Series (Lowell Festival Foundation), $27,587 for free pops orchestra concert at national park
  • Lowell Folk Festival (Lowell Festival Foundation), $30,000 for Lowell Folk Festival Recycling Program
  • Bridge Club of Greater Lowell (Troubled Waters Inc.), $30,000 for bilingual recovery coaching
  • Greater Lowell Family YMCA, $30,000 for mental health support for children
  • Lowell Junior HighAthletics, $30,000 for fee-free student sports
  • Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Inc., $28,185 for the Lowell, Come to the Theatre Initiative
  • LowellAlliance (YWCA of Lowell), $27,000 for the Lowell Diaper Bank
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank, $30,000 for Operation Nourish
  • Refuge Lowell, $30,000 for Lowell Equitable Arts Education
  • Eliot Presbyterian Church, $30,000 for the Eliot Day Center
  • Catie’s Closet, Inc., $30,000 for stabilizing Lowell families through increased access to basic needs

The ad-hoc grant program is a “reimbursement-only” funding opportunity, meaning that the nonprofits must first expense the money before receiving payment.

According toARPA Finance Manager Brendan Flynn, the round two funding review of the nine remaining applications will commence shortly.

“The same 5-member review team will be vetting these applications to ensure consistency across both rounds,” he wrote the council in July. “A determination of the recipients from Round Two should be completed and available for your review sometime in early fall.”

In July, the city announced the recipients of the nearly $200,000 Cultural Festivals and Events Grant program, part of a $1 million allocation for the recovery of the city’s cultural sector.

The infusion of these funding streams into the community will have a positive impact on Lowell’s neighborhoods and institutions, Golden said.

“The City Council is committed to bringing about meaningful change in our economic recovery efforts, ensuring a brighter and more prosperous future for all,” he wrote.