General Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does CRRP stand for?
A. Community Recovery and Revitalization Program.
Q. How does CRRP define the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency?
A. This program defines the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in congruence with US Treasury's Final Rule: "COVID–19 public health emergency means the period beginning on January 27, 2020 and lasting until the termination of the national emergency concerning the COVID–19 outbreak declared pursuant to the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)," (p.4446).
Q. What is the maximum award amount?
A. As a general rule, awards will not exceed the lesser of $1,000,000 or 20% of total eligible project costs (there is no award minimum). However, for childcare and affordable housing projects the percentage of total eligible project costs will be equal to the percentage of low to moderate income households served relative to the total households served up to the lesser of 20% or $1,000,000.
Q. Do applicants need to have the other 80% of financing/investment secured?
A. No, however, the merit of the application will be determined based on considerations that include the availability, eligibility, and progress in securing other sources of funding.
Q. If my project has already been approved and awarded CIP funding, can I apply for CRRP as well?
A. CRRP is intended to provide gap funding for eligible projects. If an applicant received a Capital Investment Program (CIP) award and still has a funding shortfall to complete the project, they may also apply for CRRP. However, they must also factor their CIP award amount into the total CRRP award calculation. The combined CIP and CRRP award cannot exceed the lesser of 20% of total eligible project costs or $1,000,000 (i.e. the award limit takes into account both CIP and CRRP programs).
Q. Can we use our previous CIP application, or is this application significantly different?
A. CRRP is an entirely new application and must be submitted separately.
Q. Can I apply multiple sources of federal and state funding to the project in my CRRP application?
A. A recipient may combine grant funds with funding from other sources but shall not use grant funds from multiple sources for the same costs within the same project. Applicants will be asked to disclose prior accepted federal or state recovery assistance (i.e. Paycheck Protection Program loans, or State Emergency Recovery Grants) in an effort to avoid duplication of benefits uses.
Q. Are CRRP awards considered to be federal funds if I want to use them as a match for another grant program?
A. No, CRRP awards are not considered federal funds for the purpose of acting as match for other federal grant programs. Funds available via CRRP generally may be used to meet the non-federal cost-share or matching requirements of other federal programs. However, recipients should consult the other federal programs if they seek to utilize CRRP funds as a match for these projects.
Q. How will applications be processed and prioritized?
A. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis in the order they are received, except during the first 30 days during which time only applications for projects located outside Vermont's non-metropolitan statistical areas (non-MSAs) and applications from BIPOC owned or led organizations and organizations that primarily serve BIPOC populations will be prioritized for review.
Q. What is a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)?
A. A Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is a designation used by the Federal government to identify multi-county clusters with a population density of at least 50,000. An MSA broadly consists of a city with communities closely linked and exhibits a high degree of social and economic integration. In Vermont, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties. Applications for projects in non-MSA communities outside of Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties (non-MSAs) will receive priority in the application review process. In Vermont, non-MSA communities are located in Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor counties.
Q. What does BIPOC stand for?
A. BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. In addition to organizations that primarily serve the BIPOC community, BIPOC-owned and BIPOC-led organizations will receive priority in the application review process. This means that for the first 30 days of the program only BIPOC organizations (and projects located outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas) will be reviewed.
Q. How does an applicant demonstrate a majority BIPOC customer population in order to qualify for priority application review?
A. The applicant will be required to attest to this information within the application.
Q. When does the initial 30-day priority period for BIPOC and non-MSA areas applications end?
A. The last day of the priority period will be December 29, 2022.
Q. When will I find out if my application is approved?
A. Applications determined to be complete will be reviewed on a rolling basis and awards will be announced on a quarterly basis until funds are expended. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant, which slows the approval process.
Q. Is the CRRP a reimbursement program?
A. Yes, the Community Recovery and Revitalization Program is a reimbursement program. The program will reimburse 20% of all eligible invoices received until the award amount is reached. This means that award funding is provided after expenses have been incurred. Awardees will be required to submit copies of paid invoices or receipts to verify project costs before award funds are distributed.
Q. When can invoices be submitted to the State of Vermont for payment?
A. Invoices may be submitted on a rolling basis and can be submitted in phases as various components of the project are completed. CRRP will reimburse 20% of eligible submitted invoices.
Q. What is the date from which expenses may be incurred to be reimbursed through CRRP?
A. Eligible project expenses can be incurred on or after March 11, 2021, which is the effective date of ARPA, and still be eligible for reimbursement. Federal rules require that all reimbursements be made by the State of Vermont prior to December 31, 2026.
Q. What types of eligible project expenses are allowed to be submitted for reimbursement?
A. Eligible project expenses include those related to capital investment and capital expansions and may include pre-development costs, such as engineering costs, permitting fees, equipment purchases, and construction architectural designs. Staff time is not allowable, nor are expenses related to paying a legal settlement, a rainy-day fund, or to fund pensions for small businesses.
Q. Is there a match requirement for the CRRP?
A. Awardees are responsible for the other 80% of total eligible project costs and for-profit recipients must provide evidence of 10% equity investment in the project. CRRP will only reimburse 20% of eligible invoices submitted. If a recipient seeks to use a CRRP award to satisfy the match requirement for another program, it is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm there are no restrictions on these other sources that would preclude the use of CRRP funds to be used as a match.
Q. Do projects need to be fully permitted before applying to CRRP?
A. No, the project does not have to be fully permitted when applying to CRRP, but the applicant will be required to complete the Permit Navigator to help guide the applicant through the permitting and planning processes and to help learn about what may be required based on the applicant's project.
Q. What should the applicant expect when completing the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Permit Navigator?
A. The Permit Navigator is a tool to help guide you in identifying various Agency of Natural Resources and Act 250 permit requirements that may apply to the project. The applicant will be asked a series of questions and the answers will help to identify permitting requirements. When finished answering the questions, a summary sheet will be provided, which will include information provided in the inquiry and a list of permit(s) that will most likely be required. For more information, visit the Permit Navigator website.
Q. Is a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number required to apply?
A. No, a UEI is not required to apply for CRRP.
Q. If I am a non-English speaker and I need translation assistance, can you help me with my application?
A. Yes, applicants requiring translation assistance may contact ACCD staff to be connected with State-contracted translation and interpretation services.
Q: Where can I find assistance for completing a CRRP application?
A. If you are a small business or non-profit looking for assistance in completing an application for CRRP, we encourage you to contact your Regional Development Corporation and the Vermont Small Business Development Center for assistance. If you are a municipality, consider contacting your Regional Planning Commission, Rural Economic Development Initiative, your Regional Development Corporation, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for assistance.
Q. Is there a minimum grant amount that would be considered?
A. No, there is not a minimum grant award amount.
Q: When will I find out if I received an award?
A. The program will aim to make award announcements on a quarterly basis until funds are expended.
Businesses and Non-Profits in Impacted Industries/QCTs Questions
Q. What is considered a small for-profit business?
A. For the CRRP, an eligible small business meets the following criteria:
- It is located in the State of Vermont.
- It is a for-profit entity with no less than a 10 percent equity interest in the project.
- It has documented financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It does not have more than 20 locations (in total, with any affiliated businesses, regardless of whether those locations do business under the same name or within the same industry).
- It is not publicly traded.
- It has no more than 500 employees.
- It is considered a small business concern as defined in section 3 of the Small Business Act.
Q. What is considered a nonprofit?
A. For the CRRP, an eligible nonprofit meets the following criteria:
- It is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization.
- It is located in the State of Vermont.
- It is undertaking an eligible project in an impacted industry, childcare, or affordable housing.
Q. What is considered an Impacted Industry?
A. To be considered an Impacted Industry in CRRP, the applicant must use a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code that begins with one of the following 2-digit numbers:
- 11 (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting)
- 61 (Educational Services)
- 71 (Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation)
- 72 (Accommodation and Food Services)
Q. Would a business be considered an Impacted Industry if its primary NAICS code is not one that is listed in the program guidelines?
A. If a business is dependent on one of the identified impacted industries for a significant portion of their revenues and, as a result of this dependency, the business can demonstrate a significant financial revenue decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the applicant may be eligible.
Q. How do I find NAICS codes for a business?
A. Applicants may reference the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS search tool to locate their NAICS code.
Q. How do I find NAICS codes for a nonprofit if one is not required for our tax return?
A. Applicants may reference the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS search tool to locate their NAICS code to identify the NAICS code most relevant to the scope of the project and their general operations.
Q. What is a Qualified Census Tract (QCT)?
A. A Qualified Census Tract (QCT) is a census tract that contains at least 50% of households with incomes below 60% of the Area Median Gross Income or have a poverty rate of 25% or more. More information is available at: Qualified Census Tracts and Difficult Development Areas.
- Qualified census tract status for applicants in CCRP is important because the US Treasury Final Rule allows for a broader number of eligible uses for projects located in QCTs.
- Census tracts designated as a QCT during 2020, 2021, or 2022 qualify for CRRP.
- To determine whether a project is located in a QCT:
Q. Do QCT projects need to have existed before COVID?
A. No, a small business startup is eligible to apply if it is located in a QCT.
Q. As a nonprofit, we do not file a Vermont tax return. What should we submit in place of a tax return in the required document upload field in the application?
A. Nonprofit applicants may upload a placeholder PDF document in lieu of a tax return that states the applicant is a nonprofit and does not file state tax returns.
Q. Does an early childhood program have to have been in business before COVID?
A. No, the creation of new daycare programs or the expansion of existing daycare programs are eligible if a percentage of new daycare slots serve low to moderate income families.
Q. Do childcare applicants who want to expand their program qualify for CRRP if they are not located within a qualified census tract?
A. Yes, CRRP funding is targeted to help serve those families that were disproportionally impacted by the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. The creation of new daycare programs or the expansion of existing daycare programs are eligible as long as a percentage of new daycare slots serve low to moderate income families. Capital investments to improve existing facilities made available to low to moderate income households are also eligible.
Q. How are low to moderate income families determined?
A. CRRP awardees will need to document that a proportional (award amount in relation to total project cost) number of day care slots are held for families that have a household income below 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
Q. Is there a minimum number of slots required to serve low to moderate income families for childcare projects?
A. There is no minimum number of slots serving low to moderate income families for childcare projects but the number of slots must be proportional to the total number of slots. However, for childcare and affordable housing projects the percentage of total project cost will be equal to the percentage of low to moderate income households served relative to the total households served up to the lesser of 20% or $1,000,000.
For example, if 13% of the households served are lot to moderate income families, the applicant could receive up to 13% of the total project costs as the award maximum. Given the 20% cap, if 50% of households served are low to moderate income families, then the maximum award would be 20% of the total project cost.
Q. Are homebased daycares eligible to apply for this funding?
A. All daycares, whether homebased or a childcare center, must be licensed and registered with the State of Vermont to be eligible. In addition, all daycare projects need to create or expand services that provide childcare for low to moderate income households.
Affordable Housing Questions
Q. What is the definition of affordable housing for for-profit and nonprofit applicants?
A. For-profit and nonprofit applicants may apply to create or improve affordable housing facilities that serve low to moderate income families. CRRP awardees will need to document that a proportional (award amount in relation to total project cost) number of units are held for families that have a household income at or below 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
Q. Is there a minimum number of units for affordable housing projects?
A. There is no minimum number of units for affordable housing projects.
Q. If you have a project where the municipality is doing infrastructure and a developer is doing affordable housing, can each piece be eligible for up to the $1 million award maximum?
A. The municipality is limited to applying for water and wastewater projects. If the affordable housing development is a separate project, the housing project would need to apply and qualify separately under the affordable housing eligibility guidelines.
Q. Is employee housing an eligible project?
A. Eligibility is based on the income level of the household, not the employment of those being housed.
Q. What are the income requirements for for-profit and nonprofit applications for affordable housing projects?
A. CRRP awardees will need to document that a proportional (award amount in relation to total project cost) number of units are held for families that have a household income at or below 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
Q. What constitute as a Municipality?
A. Per 1 VSA §126, a Municipality “shall include a city, town, town school district, incorporated school or fire district or incorporated village, and all other governmental incorporated units.”
Q. What is the purpose of CRRP for Municipalities?
A. CRRP will award grants to municipalities seeking funding for investments in water and wastewater infrastructure projects that will result in new or rehabilitated affordable housing (as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 4303), the creation of a new business, or the expansion of an existing business. Business developments must include new full-time job(s) that meet or exceed the prevailing wage for the region.
Q. What is the prevailing wage for the region?
A. The prevailing wage for your region can be found using the QCEW State and County Map tool.
Q. Do eligible projects have to be within a State-designated area (Designated Downtown, Village Center, New Town Center, Neighborhood Development Area, or Growth Center)?
A. No, eligible projects do not have to be located within a State-designated area.
Q. What water supply or wastewater projects are eligible under CRRP?
A. Eligible water supply and wastewater projects can be found by viewing page 37 of the Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Overview of the Final Rule provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Note that stormwater projects are also eligible projects for municipalities under this rule.
Q. What is the definition of affordable housing for municipal applicants?
A. The full definition of affordable housing as used in municipal applications can be found in Vermont Statute 24 V.S.A. § 4303.
Q. Can a municipality submit multiple applications?
A. A municipality may submit multiple applications, but each application shall be for a separate water supply or wastewater project that will result in new or rehabilitated affordable housing, the creation of a new business, or the expansion of an existing business.
Q. Can the water or wastewater improvements be privately owned?
A. No, the improvements must be owned and operated by the municipality.
Q. What percentage or minimum units shall be considered affordable for a municipality to be eligible for the CRRP Program?
A. As defined by 24 V.S.A. § 4303(2), for a municipality applying for water supply and wastewater projects to spur the development of affordable housing, “affordable housing development" means a housing development of which at least 20 percent of the units or a minimum of five units, whichever is greater, are affordable housing units. Affordable units shall be subject to covenants or restrictions that preserve their affordability for a minimum of 15 years or longer as provided in municipal bylaws.”
Q. Who will review municipal applications?
A. Initial review of the application will be completed by Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) staff to ensure completeness of the application and to assist in determining eligibility. The VEPC Board will review applications at monthly meetings and develop a recommendation for applications. Board meeting schedules can be found on the VEPC webpage.
Q. When will applications be reviewed by VEPC?
A. Complete applications will be reviewed at monthly board meetings. Board meeting schedules can be found on the VEPC webpage.
Q. What does VEPC mean and what are they responsible for?
A. VEPC stands for the Vermont Economic Progress Council. VEPC is an independent board of Vermont citizens, nine appointed by the Governor and two appointed by the General Assembly. VEPC serves as an approval and authorization body for the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program and the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District program. VEPC is housed within the Department of Economic Development and will assist in the review of CRRP applications as outlined in the previous questions. For more information regarding VEPC visit the VEPC webpage.
Q. Can municipalities and for-profit or nonprofit businesses submit joint applications, or two applications for the same project?
A. The municipality is limited to applying for water and wastewater projects. It is possible that the private development associated with the water or wastewater project could be eligible under the for-profit or nonprofit tracks. The for-profit or non-profit business would need to apply and qualify separately under the eligibility guidelines.
Q. Do applicants have to be a recipient of the Clean Water State Resolving Fund (CWSRF) or Drinking Water State Resolving Fund (DWSRF) in order to be eligible for the CRRP Program?
A. No, applicants do not have to be a recipient of the CWSRF or the DWSRF in order to be eligible for CRRP.
Q. Do eligible Municipal applicants have to be located within a Qualified Census Tract (QCT)?
A. No, eligible municipal applicants do not have to be within a QCT.
Q. Would a water or wastewater project that will result in both affordable housing or business development be eligible for additional CRRP funds?
A. No, the maximum amount of awards will not exceed the lesser of $1,000,000 or 20% of total project cost.
Q. Is there a minimum project cost or award amount?
A. There is no minimum amount for project costs or award amount for this grant program.
For support, including language translation assistance, please email ACCD.CRRP@vermont.gov.