This week, RCRC submitted comments on the implementation of the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) program; this was in response to a Request for Information posted in December of 2021.  Comments were submitted to the Interagency Leadership Team which is comprised of representatives of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Office and Planning and Research, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. 

The CERF program was created by a budget trailer bill last year, Senate Bill 162 (Chapter 259, Statutes of 2021), to provide financial support to regions of California impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 162 appropriated $600 million in Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds (federal funding) for grants specifically to invest in populations and industries that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Projects to develop sustainable industries and connect small-and-minority owned businesses are some of the eligible proposals. There will be two phases of funding, with the first phase allocating $5 million per each of the thirteen regions for the development of a localized recovery and transition plans. Phase Two will disperse $500 million through a competitive grant process for economic development projects to support revitalization of the region.

Further comments on the proposed rules for Phase One are being accepted through January 28, 2021. The proposed guidelines can be found here. For more information contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Tracy Rhine.