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Grant Funding Available to Qualified Nebraska Nonprofits Resuming Capital Projects Delayed Due to COVID-19

on Monday, 14 June 2021 in Covid-19 Information Hub

On May 20, 2021, the Nebraska Legislature passed Legislative Bill 566 (“LB 566”), also known as the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act (the “Act”). The purpose of the Act is to provide grants to qualified nonprofit organizations in order to assist with capital projects that 1) have been delayed due to COVID-19 and 2) will have a positive economic impact in the State of Nebraska.

Who Can Apply?

Under the Act, a qualified nonprofit organization is defined as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that is either related to the arts, culture, or the humanities or that operates a sports complex.

How Can Organizations Utilize Grant Funding?

Qualified nonprofit organizations can utilize grant funding to build, expand, or develop a new or existing facility. Organizations can also apply funding to restoration work completed on buildings designated as National Historic Landmarks. Funding may be applied to specific building and construction costs including, but not limited to, land, engineering, architectural planning, materials, and equipment costs.

Amount of Grant Funding Available

The Fund supplies matching grants, meaning the Act requires every dollar of grant funding received to be matched one-to-one with funding received from private sources. Additionally, the size of grant an organization is eligible to receive is capped based on the overall cost estimate of the capital project. Grants will be capped according to the following rules:

  • A grant will not exceed $1.5M for projects with an estimated cost below $5M;
  • A grant will not exceed $5M for projects with an estimated cost between $5M-25M;
  • A grant will not exceed $10M for projects with an estimated cost between $25M-$50M; and
  • A grant will not exceed $15M for projects with an estimated cost of $50M+.

Application Process

Qualified entities can apply for grant funding on the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s website beginning on July 1, 2021. The application window will close on July 15, 2021. The Department of Economic Development, as administrator of this program, will review applications in the order received. Thus, if possible, it is likely advantageous to apply at or near the start of the application window.

The grant application will require information including, but not limited to the following.

  • A description of the capital project;
  • The project’s estimated cost;
  • The date on which the project was delayed due to COVID-19;
  • The date on which the project is expected to begin or resume (note: this date cannot be later than June 30, 2022); and
  • A summary of funds both received and expected to be received from private sources allocated for this project (note: disclosure of donor names is not required).

Post Grant Requirements

All private funds to be allocated towards the capital project must be either secured via payment or written pledge by December 31, 2021. Additionally, project construction must begin by June 30, 2022. If these requirements are not met, a grant recipient must repay all grant funds received under the Act.

If you have any questions regarding the grant program, or other COVID-19 legislation, please contact a Baird Holm LLP attorney.

Claire Haney, Summer Associate

1700 Farnam Street | Suite 1500 | Omaha, NE 68102 | 402.344.0500