CEO Blog-04.15.2020: CARES Act

CARES Act: It’s more than Paycheck Protection.
While many AURP members and tenants have been looking at the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in terms of SBA funds and loans, the US Economic Development Agency (EDA) received $1.5 billion in emergency funding for Economic Adjustment Assistance for areas declared disaster areas by the federal government. For the first time in history, all 50 states have been declared disaster areas so there should be opportunities in your community or region to attract EDA funding.

EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance funding is somewhat flexible and administered on a regional basis. Funds might be used for loans, construction and other economic development projects. In the past, several research parks and incubators have received funding from the EDA for planning, development and expansion. Details should be forthcoming from EDA on ways to apply for funding. Partnering with organizations in your region that have successfully applied for EDA funding in the past is one strategy to increase likelihood of success. Note also local matching requirements are usually necessary so plan for that eventuality.

Many federal research agencies have also received increases in base research budgets under the CARES Act, which should increase SBIR and STTR funding opportunities for your tenants since SBIR funding is based on percentage of an agency’s total research budget. So stay tuned for that when new proposals are issued later in the year.

Note that Congress has announced it will be in recess until May 4, meaning confirmation hearings, such as for the NSF director, are on hold until then. Coronavirus funding bills could be considered in the interim, but would require unanimous consent, which would be difficult to achieve. Unlike many of our parks and tenants, Congress has very few tools to operate remotely. Let’s hope they fix that at some point.

Meanwhile stay safe and connected.

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