Questica News

American Rescue Plan – Immediate Steps for Local Governments to Receive Funding

Charlie Francis

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. One of the many provisions in the bill was an appropriation of $360 billion state and local government Fiscal Recovery. Specifically for cities and counties, $65.1 billion will be distributed to counties; and $45.6 billion was set aside for metropolitan cities and $19.5 billion for Non-entitlement Units of Local Government (cities, towns, villages, etc. with less than 50,000 population and not within a Metropolitan Statistical Area). Visit Questica’s interactive website with estimated American Rescue Plan funding distributions.


Questica has been closely following the legislation, and on April 15th, the U.S. Treasury recently released guidance on pre-award requirements, outlining immediate steps Metropolitan Cities, Non-entitlement Units of Local Government, and Counties need to take to receive direct payments from the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury has not yet released official guidance on eligible uses of funds.


Immediate Action Steps for Metropolitan Cities and Counties


Metropolitan Cities and Counties are eligible to receive a direct payment of funds from the Treasury and they should immediately undertake the following steps and prepare information in advance to be best positioned to receive payments from the Treasury in a timely manner after the program is launched.


All Federal financial assistance recipients must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) database at to receive payment. The DUNS and SAM registration process may take several business days to complete. Therefore, the Treasury recommends that eligible entities begin those registration processes if they have not already completed them.


1.  Ensure the entity has a valid DUNS number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify an organization and is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. The federal government uses the DUNS number to track how federal money is allocated. A DUNS number is required before registering with the SAM database, which is outlined below. Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge. If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit the Dun & Bradstreet website or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.


2.  Ensure the entity has an active SAM registration. SAM is the official government-wide database to register with in order to do business with the U.S. government. All Federal financial assistance recipients must register on and renew their SAM registration annually to maintain an active status to be eligible to receive Federal financial assistance. There is no charge to register or maintain your entity SAM registration. If an entity does not have an active SAM registration, please visit, to begin the entity registration or renewal process. Please note that SAM registration can take up to three weeks; a delay in registering with SAM could impact the timely payment of funds. Click here for a quick overview for SAM registration


Gather the entity’s payment information, including:

  1. Entity Identification Number (EIN), name, and contact information
  2. Name and title of an authorized representative of the entity
  3. Financial institution information (e.g., routing and account number, financial institution name, and contact information)

Immediate Action Step for Non-entitlement Units of Local Government


Eligible Non-entitlement Units of Local Government will receive a distribution of funds from their respective state government. The Treasury will allocate and pay funds to state governments, and the state will distribute funds to Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government in proportion to population. Non-entitlement units must have a valid DUNS number to meet reporting the requirements under the program. If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit the Dun & Bradstreet website or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.


Questica expects additional guidance on the use of funds, definitions of lost revenue, reporting requirements, administration, and audits from the U.S. Treasury to be issued before the middle of May and will keep our COVID-19 Resource Center updated accordingly.


For all the latest news about the American Rescue Plan series, bookmark the master post.