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Grand Rapids could get upwards of $50 million from COVID relief bill

Downtown Grand Rapids Social Zones
Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 10, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — President Joe Biden will sign a massive $1.9 trillion COVID relief billinto law Friday, and more than $350 billion will be shipped out to help state and local governments hampered by the pandemic.

The City of Grand Rapids could see an eye-popping amount of relief, upwards of $50 million.

How much exactly and how it will be delivered is still being worked out, but the city says the stimulus money is coming at a crucial time.

“It's a moving target right now," Grand Rapids CFO Molly Clarin told FOX 17 after the House passed the bill Wednesday. "Se'll definitely know more probably by early next week. We're just thankful, and we know we're in a better position than we were a couple hours ago.”

This year alone, Grand Rapids is anticipating a loss of $15-20 million in income tax revenue, and while they’ve been well-positioned with a solid savings fund, that’s dwindling too.

“We have a rainy-day fund and it's been raining,” Clarin said.

The tens of millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act will prevent potential job or service cuts the city has been considering, a welcome change of plans as next year's budget is drafted.

“We're not going to be cutting people, we're going to be sustaining the current level of services, and definitely assessing how we can also help locally to spur economic recovery,” Clarin added.