Montgomery County receives first $92 million allocation of CARES Act funding

Temporary Office of CARES Act created to manage distribution of funds

As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Montgomery County has received $92 million, directly from the U.S. Treasury. This funding will be used to provide financial relief to individuals and businesses who have experienced hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are extremely grateful for this financial support from the Federal Government,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “This funding will be critical to help our community recover from this pandemic and will be used to support families and small businesses who are struggling to get by, as well as some educational and agricultural services.”

The County has created the Office of CARES Act, a temporary department whose sole purpose is the management and distribution of this funding to the community. This office is tasked with developing financial assistance programs, applications and eligibility criteria. The Office of CARES Act will be in operation from May 12, 2020 through March 31, 2021, with the first program targeted at helping small businesses rolling out in June 2020.

“Because the CARES Act will expire on Dec. 31, 2020, we have limited time to create appropriate programs and criteria for distributing these funds to our community,” said Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert. “In addition, these funds will be subject to intense audit scrutiny, so we will be strictly adhering to the guidelines provided to us by the U.S. Treasury. We are going to ensure that these funds are allocated appropriately to where they are needed most.

“We must act quickly, deliberately and strategically, and I applaud the Board of County Commissioners for their foresight and vision as we work to distribute these desperately needed financial resources to our community,” Colbert added.

The County has appointed Marvene Mitchell-Cook to lead these efforts as Director of the Office of CARES Act. Mitchell-Cook has extensive experience administering public programs, as well as background in financial administration and compliance with federal guidelines. She most recently served as Director of Montgomery County Workforce Development.

“We are thrilled to appoint Director Marvene Mitchell-Cook to lead the Office of CARES Act,” Dodge said. “I have absolute confidence in her team’s ability to get this office up and running quickly, so that we can direct these financial resources to the people and organizations who need them most.”

The Board of County Commissioners approved the creation of the Office of CARES Act and appointed Mitchell-Cook as Director at the May 12 board meeting.

 “This funding will provide much-needed relief to our communities. Many organizations, families and individuals are suffering because of this pandemic, and this CARES Act funding will allow us to help them,” Mitchell-Cook said.

“I’m honored to lead this new department, and to ensure these funds are distributed fairly and where there is great need. I want to thank our Commissioners and our County Administrator for this opportunity to serve the community I love at a time when this support is needed most.”