Governor, MEMA announce COVID-19 emergency relief program
Photo courtesy of MEMA

During today’s press briefing, Governor Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency announced the launch of a program to aid cities and counties in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The ‘MEMA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program’ was created by the passage of two bills during the 2020 legislative session. HB 1799 and SB 3047 will allocate $70 million of CARES Act funding to “help relieve the financial burdens on counties and municipalities caused by this unprecedented pandemic.”

“Hopefully it can help keep more people on the job, and prevent more layoffs,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “It’s not enough to overcome the terrible cost of COVID-19, but it’s something. It’s necessary. And we’re going to do everything we can to get it out quickly and efficiently.”

You can watch today’s press briefing below: 

MEMA provided the following explanation of the program: 

Through FEMA’s COVID-19 Economic Disaster Declaration, counties and municipalities and specific nonprofits are eligible for public assistance. While FEMA reimburses 75% of those approved expenses, some entities struggle to meet the 25% match. Through the MEMA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program, the burden is now lifted from the counties and municipalities to provide that match.

Not all COVID-19 expenses are eligible for federal reimbursement through FEMA; therefore SB 3047 details what other expenses can be covered by the CARES Act funds.  The allocation of funds from the Relief Program is based on the county or municipality’s population as listed in the 2010 U.S. Census. If a government entity’s costs are not entirely covered by FEMA’s reimbursement, MEMA will work with remaining CARES Act funds to help ensure a 100% reimbursement.

The CARES Act funding application process will be open from August 3- October 15. Information on how to apply for CARES Act funding will be available by July 31 on MEMA’s website: www.msema.org. According to SB 3047, reimbursements must begin August 15. Monies must be obligated by November 30 or will be returned to the governor.

Counties and municipalities can apply for public assistance through FEMA’s Grants Portal now by visiting https://grantee.fema.gov.