Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0
The North Carolina General Assembly finished up their 2019-2020 legislative work last week by officially passing their Sine Die resolution. The NCGA gaveled back into session last week to spend the remaining federal CARES act funds. They had nearly $1 billion of CARES act funds that needed to be spent by the federally mandated December 31st deadline.
The Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 was passed with large bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate. This widespread support led to quick passage, but it also meant good things for our region. The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance had been tracking several key provisions in the bill that support and benefit our region.
Parent Impact Payments
The NCGA approved a onetime payment of $335 to all parents in North Carolina. This payment is meant to provide parents with some stimulus because of the additional work they are doing amid the pandemic.
The NCGA approved a $50 per week increase for unemployment benefits through the end of the year. The legislature also ensured that those receiving benefits in North Carolina were eligible for the federal supplement via the President’s executive order. They will receive a lump sum payment of $900.
Job Retention Grant Program
The NCGA appropriated another $45 million ($60 million in all of 2020) towards the Job Retention Grant Program. This program is for businesses and non-profits that were not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program and have not received a loan from the Golden Leaf Foundation. The legislature also approved some clarifying changes that allow 501C6 organizations for this program.
The NCGA approved another $30 million in funding for the GREAT program. This program is a public-private partnership focused on expanding broadband in rural areas throughout North Carolina. The legislature has approved nearly $50 million in all of 2020.
Education Research and Development
The NCGA funded a couple of projects for our educational institutions focused on combatting COVID-19 and focusing on resiliency efforts for the future. The legislature approved $9 million for UNC Charlotte to fight the virus:
- $4 million for the development and analysis of viral and epidemiological data to address viral spread, assess treatments and therapeutics, and combat the COVID-19 pandemic and future viruses.
- $5 million for the development of a novel COVID-19 monitoring program based on the presence of the virus in wastewater and public transportation systems.
The legislature also approved $14 million for the PPE-NC Initiative, a partnership between the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) at Catawba Valley Community College, Gaston College's Textile Technology Center, the City of Conover, Gaston County, and the private sector to create a launch pad for prototyping and testing reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) products for entrepreneurs and existing manufacturers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is the breakdown of the appropriation:
- $9 million as a grant to the City of Conover for the following purposes:
- $7.25 million shall be used to construct a purpose-built facility to house testing labs, rapid prototyping, and a textile sourcing library.
- $1.25 million shall be used for a clean room upfit for MSC facilities.
- $500,000 shall be used for equipment, materials, and logistics for a rapid prototyping pilot line to create product and to train a workforce for United States manufacturers of PPE.
- $5.3 million as a grant to Gaston County to construct an Incubator and Extrusion Center for Advanced Fibers for Gaston College's Textile Technology Center.
Posted by: Joe Bost, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs @ 12:00:00 am