Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that eligible cities and towns across the state who have yet to do so have just over a week to apply for Non-Entitlement Unit (NEU) dollars authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). To date, 1,009 local governments have taken steps to receive or claim over $361 million. As of today, more than 241 eligible governments have yet to complete their application, leaving over $19.6 million in funds on the table for the current fiscal year. To ensure all eligible local governments receive vital funding, the administration is urging the remaining NEUs to claim their allocations by September 30, 2021, or funds will be reallocated.Overall, $742 million was authorized by ARPA to assist non-entitlement units (NEUs) of government who have yet to receive a direct allocation from the latest stimulus. In Illinois, eligible NEUs include more than 1,250 cities, towns, and villages that each serve a population under 50,000. DCEO is urging NEUs who have not yet taken steps to claim their funds to do so today. Information about how to complete the request or to receive technical assistance with a request is available on the DCEO NEU portal https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CURENEU/Pages/default.aspx.
The NEU funds may be used to cover revenue losses and the costs of responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency or to its negative economic impacts on households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. These funds can also be used to invest in building, maintaining, or upgrading water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.Authorized community representatives can access the DCEO NEU portal now to certify and request their allotment within minutes. Those who complete the process and provide documentation as required by U.S. Treasury, can expect to receive the first portion of funding in approximately 30 days, with the remaining half roughly a year later. Importantly, as the NEU process does not require upfront itemization of reimbursable expenses, cities and towns can apply now and decide how to allocate NEU funding later.All NEUs must follow federal compliance and reporting responsibilities as determined by the U.S. Treasury. After the deadline on September 30, 2021, there will be no other opportunity for local governments to apply for this allocation of NEU funding as DCEO will take steps to reallocate unclaimed funds.