Gov. Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) launched the MEMA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program to help relieve the financial burdens on counties and municipalities caused by the unprecedented pandemic.

In House Bill 1799 and Senate Bill 3047, MEMA was allocated $70 million of CARES Act money to assist counties and municipalities with their COVID-19 expenses. 

"Hopefully it can help keep more people on the job, and prevent more layoffs," said 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."

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

Since not all COVID-19 expenses are eligible for federal reimbursement through FEMA, Senate Bill 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 percent reimbursement. 

The CARES Act funding application process will be open from Aug. 3- Oct. 15

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