Great news! The COVID-19 Paid Leave Grant Program application portal is now open.
After months of advocacy from the progressive business and labor community, the Legislature appropriated $15.18 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) to create the COVID-19 Paid Leave Grant Program.
Please note that in order to comply with US Treasury guidance on how state’s can spend ARPA dollars, the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) had to make some changes when it comes to program eligibility. For now, employers may apply for grants if they…
- Are a small employer or nonprofit (<500 employees) who can demonstrate economic harm from the pandemic.
- Provide paid leave “as part of their standard operating policy.” In other words, DFR will not reimburse employers for paid leave beyond what is already provided nor will they compensate employees who took unpaid leave.
Fortunately, DFR has designated $5 million of funding for the program as “revenue replacement” which provides considerably more flexibility and would allow us to administer the program as originally intended. These funds are expected to be rolled out in “phase 2” of the program and details are forthcoming. In other words, employers who are not currently eligible to apply initially may be eligible at a later date.
In the meantime, for more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply check out the latest Covid-19-Related Program Guidance and Application Instructions. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to [email protected]. We’ve heard reports that some applicants are having technical difficulties with the application portal and DFR is working to address them as we speak. For more updates from VBSR, sign up here.