LRCOG News & Updates
Our Mission
"In its dedication to regional excellence, the Lumber River Council of Governments is
proactive in identifying local and regional needs and the resources to address
those needs in an effective and fair manner."

North Carolina's Response Rate Lags Behind National Average
N.C. Ranks 37th Among States

At this point, the official U.S. Census Bureau mailers have been received, and communities are self reporting. 

Across the country, 55.6 percent of people have self-reported as of May 1. In North Carolina, unfortunately, that number is only 50.9 percent.
Natural Hazards Resilience: A Quick Start Guide for North Carolina Communities

The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) published a guide that will help communities become stronger and better equipped to withstand the impacts of future natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires, as well as the ongoing effects of climate change. Natural Hazards Resilience: A Quick Start Guide for North Carolina Communities is the first part of an ongoing effort by NCORR’s team of experts to define what it means to plan for and build resilience in communities while integrating those measures into the work local governments do every day.

“While we work to defeat COVID-19, we must also remain vigilant in planning and preparing for future natural disasters,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This guide is a valuable tool that will help local governments build strong plans to increase resilience against future storms.”
Opening Up America Again

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.
North Carolina
Staying Ahead of the Curve

Governor Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Stay Vigilant
North Carolina's Emergency Response Recommendations COVID-19 Pandemic Immediate Needs

The country is facing a public health and economic emergency that is unprecedented in our time. This is a dynamic situation that is changing rapidly as government leaders at all levels work to ramp up testing and treatment capacity while also responding to the growing economic challenges facing North Carolinians. The state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be nimbler and more flexible than traditional weather-related disaster response efforts in the past. Creative solutions and quick action will be needed to solve new and emerging issues.
As of April 16, 2020, the federal government has signaled its intent to provide funding in three stimulus packages. The state has already received a little over $2 billion from the largest source of funds - the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). This package anticipates using the CRF for the expenses recommended below, acknowledging the need to be flexible and adaptable as the US Treasury has not yet issued formal guidelines for these funds.

This Immediate COVID-19 Pandemic Response Package totals almost $700 million and is intended to meet budgetary needs through July 1, 2020 in three broad categories: (1) Immediate Public Health and Safety, (2) Continuity of Operations for Education and State Government Services; and (3) Small Business Assistance.
NC Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
North Carolina independent contractors and self-employed workers out of work because of COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance beginning Friday, April 24 at 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, is a federal program for people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 and not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors.

The Disaster Recovery Journal is hosting the webinar “The Pandemic Response: Strategies for Long-term Recovery Planning in a Dynamic Environment” on May 6 at 2 p.m. ET . This webinar will focus on the development of your response strategy in this new age. It will cover the “Traditional Business Continuity Lifecycle” and compare it to a vision of a “Pandemic Response Lifecycle.” Click here to learn more and register.

The CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series will continue on May 6 and July 8 CDFA has partnered with the Alliance for Rural Impact to develop this webinar series to serve rural America and the unique challenges they face. This webinar series will cover both the immediate development finance solutions that communities can implement to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 as well as the tools and resources being developed to rebuild. Click here to learn more and register.
Virtual Meetings for Local Governments
LRCOG Community and Economic Develepment Division

In this time where many towns and counties are grappling with how to do business in light of the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Cooper, we have put together the following information. First is some background to confirm that electronic (digital) meetings can meet the requirements of the NC Open Meetings Law. Second are some samples of Public Notices from various jurisdictions for virtual meetings. Lastly, is a comparison chart of the various platforms that are available to handle virtual meetings and a checklist for a successful process in making a virtual meeting happen.

Good Luck and, as always, contact us with any questions.
Rural Talk: An Advocacy Speaker Series

Rural Talk: An Advocacy Speaker Series is a 5-part webinar series hosted by the NC Rural Center’s advocacy program, Rural Counts. Rural Talk brings together the voices, expertise, and perspectives from thought leaders at the national, state, and local levels, representing the public, nonprofit, private, and philanthropic sectors to discuss key issues affecting rural North Carolinian’s—broadband, entrepreneurship and small business development, health, housing and water and wastewater infrastructure.

Panels will take place every Thursday at 11 a.m. from May 7 through June 4. A moderator will ground each session in the latest data and research surrounding the issue, and expert panelists will then further speak to the issue, policy solutions, and local innovations. We recognize, too, that there exists a nexus between our Rural Talk topics and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, and our panelists will address how these issues intersect. Each one-hour session will consist of a 45 minute discussion, followed by a Q&A period. 

Series Schedule:

Thursday, May 7: Rural Broadband- This panel session will focus on rural broadband, specifically issues related to accessibility, affordability, adoption and digital inclusion, and the impact of COVID-19.

Thursday, May 14: Rural Small Business Development- This panel session will focus on rural entrepreneurship and small business development, specifically issues related to access to capital, sector growth and support, the economic development ecosystem, and the impact of COVID-19.

Thursday, May 21: Rural Health- This panel session will focus on rural health, specifically regarding access to care, provider needs and shortages, social determinants and drivers, and the impact of

Thursday, May 28: Rural Housing- This panel session will focus on rural housing, specifically around the issues of affordability, accessibility, sector capacity building, and the impact of COVID-19.

Thursday, June 4: Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure- This panel session will focus on rural water and wastewater infrastructure, specifically regarding issues of fiscal and internal management, sustainability, and the impact of COVID-19.
CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series

CDFA has partnered with the Alliance for Rural Impact to develop this webinar series to serve rural America and the unique challenges they face. This webinar series will cover both the immediate development finance solutions that communities can implement to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 as well as the tools and resources being developed to rebuild.

The CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series will provide an informative and time-sensitive discussion on issues currently impacting rural communities and the resources available at the local, state, and federal levels.
This series will be split into four, one and a half hour, webinars focused on specific development finance tools and best practices for rural recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020- 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Wednesday, June 10, 2020- 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Wednesday, July 8, 2020- 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

This webinar series is free to attend. Webinars will be recorded and available online afterward. Attendees who register for the webinar receive an email with the recordings as well.
NCEM Public Assistance Tutorial Series

The NC Division of Emergency Management and the School of Government have partnered to produce a series of online tutorials that provide helpful information about the FEMA reimbursement process and the FEMA Grants Portal. 
Forward Together: A Virtual Conference
May 12 & May 14

You are invited to join Polco/National Research Center along with the International City/County Management Association, the National League of Cities, Engaging Local Government Leaders, and others for a virtual conference focusing on the future of local government in a post-COVID word. Discover and discuss essentials of good government now, into recovery, and beyond.
Demystifying Cleaning in the Age of COVID-19
May 5, 2020
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Hosted by the NC Departments of Environmental Quality and Department of Labor

This webinar will cover the basics of what you need to know to effectively decontaminate your facilities. Learn about pathogen control practices, disinfectant choices, modes of transmission, virus survival duration and proper use of personal protective equipment. 

The webinar will also cover proper disposal practices of waste cleaning agents, wipes and contaminated materials. The event will provide a forum to address your questions related to environmental cleaning practices in, non-healthcare related, business settings.
Rural Wealth Creation
COVID-19 Webinar
Monday, May 4, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

The WealthWorks Rural Wealth Creation Network will hold a peer learning webinar focused on supporting local economies during and after the COVID-19 pandemic response. Participants will learn the basics of rural wealth creation as an economic development strategy, hear about federal resources available for communities, regions, and businesses, and hear from economic development and business assistance practitioners on how they are taking action now and making future plans to support their economies.
Funding and Financing Strategies for Integrated Hazard Mitigation and Water Resource Plans
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
2:00 PM- 3:00 PM

The Environmental Finance Center Network and the Smart Management for Small Water Systems Program is hosting a webinar that will focus on funding and financing strategies for integrated hazard mitigation and water resource plans.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Get the latest information on COVID-19 in North Carolina
North Carolina Launches a Statewide COVID-19 Website
The state has launched a new website to serve as a portal for all COVID-19 across state government.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
NC  2-1-1
Get up to date information on COVID-19

NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.
Text COVIDNC to 898-211 for announcements and updates
Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
ICMA's Upcoming Webinars on COVID-19 Response and More
Fiscal Strategies During a Pandemic
Date: Friday, May 8 | 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Access previous webinars on ICMA's Coronavirus website.
Visit NC Main Street & Rural Planning's COVID-19 Website for information and resources.

Here are some of the new resources on the website that may be of benefit to you and your community:

  • The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program is looking for opportunities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • There are a number of new PRIVATE funding sources that have been added.

  • Technology resources that will be particularly pertinent for ecommerce and as we approach the recovery phase.

  •  Ideas on how other communities are providing funding assistance or marketing local businesses.
Esri- Maps, Resources, and Insights

As the situation surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Esri is supporting users and the community at large with location intelligence, geographic information system (GIS) and mapping software, services, and materials that people are using to help monitor, manage, and communicate the impact of the outbreak.
Esri's County COVID-19 Cases
and Planning Report
View Data by County or Municipality
(interactive map)
Funding Opportunities
Searchable Guide to COVID-19 Federal Funding Resources Available from Alchemy Community Transformations

An interactive guide to help rural communities navigate the various federal funding resources included within the CARES Act is now available from Alchemy Community Transformations . This guide can be searched by topic, applicant type, cost-share requirements, or funding type. This interactive tool to help you navigate federal funding resources is available here , and other resources from Alchemy Community Transformations are available here.
SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

The SBA has approved the North Carolina Governor’s request for a disaster declaration, and you may begin the application process. Eligible applicants may now apply for economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) as a result of the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Announce New and Expanded Lending Programs to Provide Up To $2.3 Trillion in Financing : On Thursday, April 9, Treasury launched a Main Street Business Lending program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, states, counties, and cities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) will provide up to $500 billion in direct financing to states, counties, and cities to help ensure they have the funds necessary to provide essential services to citizens and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Golden LEAF deploys $15 million in funding to launch NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
Funding will provide loans to help small businesses suffering economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Golden LEAF Foundation announces $15 million in funding to launch a rapid recovery loan program in response to economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Golden LEAF funding will support the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program by enabling loans to be made to eligible businesses for up to $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months. If not repaid in six months, the loan will automatically convert to a term loan.
FEMA Public Assistance Program

All North Carolina local governments and certain nonprofits are eligible to apply to the FEMA Public Assistance Program for FEMA reimbursement to assist with emergency expenses related to responding to COVID-19.  The NC Division of Emergency Management and the UNC School of Government have partnered to produce an on-demand applicant briefing webinar that gives instructions on how to register for FEMA reimbursement, information on general reimbursement eligibility of COVID-19 expenses, tips on documenting expenses, and COVID-19 federal procurement requirements.

A link to the free on-demand applicant briefing webinar, a pdf of the briefing presentation slides, and a summary of the FEMA Public Assistance program is available at both websites below:  

The first step toward applying for FEMA reimbursement of eligible COVID-19 expenses is to register your organization in the FEMA Grants Portal .  

All local governments and nonprofits (incorporated as a 501(c), (d), or (e) in the state are encouraged to register in the FEMA Grants Portal. Even if your organization is not certain whether you have COVID-19 expenses that are eligible for FEMA reimbursement, you are encouraged to register - you cannot apply for FEMA reimbursement without being registered in the Grants Portal and completing a few simple registration forms. This very simple registration process is explained in the on-demand briefing webinar. 

Law Enforcement COVID-19 Grant

Known as the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program, local law enforcement must still file the paperwork to receive the funding. Applications are being processed within 7-10 days in order to get the funding out quickly.

The CESF funding is designed to assist eligible states, units of local government, and tribes in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus. The funding is very flexible as long as it related to COVID-19 response. For example, allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates and others in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers. Recipients of CESF grant awards have latitude in awarding sub-grants that will help in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19, but states are not required to limit their pool of sub-recipients to criminal justice agencies.
Applications are accepted up to May 29, 2020, but, again, they are being approved on a rolling basis, so applying sooner rather than later is recommended.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces $10 Million in FY20 Funding Availability for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Programs
NC Main Street & Rural Planning
Funding Resources for Federal, City/Town and Private/Non-Profit
Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program

FEMA has released the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the $100 million Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP), part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to purchase personal protective equipment and supplies.

The grant application is available through the AFGP FEMA Grants Outcomes (GO) application portal.
2020 NCLM Covid-19 Site Sanitization Grant
These grants are meant to help defray some of the costs related to professional cleaning/sanitizing of municipal office environments when a positive exposure of COVID-19 has occurred.
Members of the League's Workers' Compensation and Property & Casualty Trusts are eligible to apply for up to $2,500. Grants will be provided to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Cleaning products and PPE are not covered.
SAFER Grants

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program provides financial assistance to help fire departments increase response capacity. SAFER provides grants to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Eligible agencies include county governments, municipal governments fire departments, and national, state, local, or federally recognized tribal organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters.

The application deadline is May 15 . A local match is not required. However, applicants must develop a locally supported retention plan.
Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (FP&S)

The purpose of the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards by supporting fire prevention programs and firefighter health and safety research and development. The program guidance document provides interested applicants with the details of the requirements, processing, and evaluation of applications.
Eligible agencies include county governments, municipal governments, and fire departments. The application deadline is May 29 and a local match is required.
Suggested Reads
FEMA announces release of $100 million in supplemental Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) to assist in the local response to COVID-19
Updates on COVID-19 Symptoms and the EEOC’s Stance on COVID-19 Testing
By Diane Juffras
Learn about changes in the Centers for Disease Control’s list of symptoms of COVID-19 (important if you are monitoring your employees’ health) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s position on the use of COVID-19 tests by employers.
Visit Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law 's blog for additional articles on interesting topics such as:

Lumber River Council of Governments | Phone: 910-618-5533 | Fax: 910-521-7556