KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of Kinston is anxiously awaiting a $6.3 million grant from the federal government.
It’s part of the American Rescue Plan, or ARP, which entails direct federal funding to municipalities to assist with post-pandemic recovery. Some of that money will be allocated specifically to small and minority-owned businesses in the Kinston area. City officials do not yet know exactly how much will be allocated to small businesses. They say that is dependent on the need.
The original total of the grant was $5.8 million but was later upped to $6.3 million to cover the costs of the transition to post-pandemic life.
Kinston Mayor Don Hardy said this plan is the first of its kind.
“The ARP plan has never happened before in history,” Hardy said. “Congressional-directed funding or spending from the federal government.”
Hardy said it’s a big deal for small cities like Kinston, where the population is under 50,000. But right now, it’s just a waiting game.
Hardy expects that funding to be funneled down to the city within the next 30 days. Then, they can begin the allocation and disbursement process. He said the money will come in two parts. Around $3.1 million for this year and the rest of the allotment will be given to the city in 2022.
Once the ARP grant money arrives in Kinston, Hardy said there will be public announcements so interested business owners can begin the application process. Then, according to Hardy, business owners will receive that funding in the form of mini-grants.
Hardy said any business owners interested in receiving funding or who want further information can contact his office, the city manager’s office or city hall.