CARES Act Background
In late April 2020, the City of Portland received $114 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds from the federal government, along with the following guidance:
- Funds had to be allocated to the community by December 31, 2020.
- Funds could only be used for expenses related to COVID-19 that were incurred between March 1 – December 30, 2020.
- Funds could not be used to backfill revenue shortfalls.
These funds were sent to the City to ensure our community members and small businesses could receive direct help during this time of great need. To aid in the decision-making process, City leaders created the PDX CARES Task Force to lead allocation decisions and consulted community based organizations to ensure the needs of Black people, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC) were represented in these conversations.
After reviewing a range of options on how to best use these funds, Portland’s City Council determined that investing in our region’s public health response and meeting the immediate needs of our community were the highest and best use of these funds. From household and small business assistance programs to bridging the digital divide, these funds will provide a lifeline to struggling Portlanders.