The American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law. ARPA provides local governments with resources through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, to respond to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are administered by the U.S. Treasury Department, which announced that the City of New Bedford would receive $64,729,754 in ARPA funding.

The U.S. Treasury released ARPA regulations that set forth eligible uses for funding, which include addressing acute pandemic-response needs, filling revenue shortfalls, and supporting communities and populations hit hardest by COVID-19. Revisions to these regulations take effect April 1st, 2022.

ARPA recovery funds provide substantial flexibility for cities to address and meet local community needs. Eligible uses include replacing public sector revenue loss, to provide government services at pre-COVID levels; supporting public health responses and COVID-19 mitigation efforts including medical expenses, behavioral health care, and public health and safety; addressing negative economic impacts, including economic harm to workers, families, small businesses, impacted industries, and the private sector; and supporting water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.



Funding priorities have been set in a collaborative process involving:

  • An extensive review of the City’s many strategic planning documents;
  • Input from Department Heads with purview over areas such as Public Health; Housing and Community Development; Parks, Recreation, & Beaches; Public Infrastructure; Environmental Stewardship; and Emergency Management;
  • Public outreach and community forums hosted the in summer and fall 2021 (click here to view the City's ARPA Presentation);
  • A public survey which drew more than 500 responses (view the results here); and
  • Review and approval by the City Council.



Enhanced Cultural Facilities Program


  • Deadline: The application period has closed.
  • Administered By: Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  • Eligibility: Non-profit cultural facilities. Additional eligibility criteria apply.
Small Business Assistance through NBForward! and NB100!


Vacant or Abandoned Property Rehabilitation


  • Deadline: The application period has closed.
  • Administered By: Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  • Eligibility: Vacant properties located in Qualified Census Tracts. Additional eligibility criteria apply.
NB Creative: Wicked Cool Places, Art is Everywhere, and ARTnet


  • Deadlines:
    • Wicked Cool Places: The application period has closed.
    • ARTnet: Opened August 22, 2022; rolling deadline until depletion of funds.
    • Art is Everwhere: The application period has closed.
  • Administered By: New Bedford Creative
  • Eligibility: Variable
  • Application: Applications available here
  • Description: Click here to learn more about the program.
  • Questions: Contact Margo Saulnier at