Tampa Bay has secured $ 38.7 billion in federal pandemic aid. Here’s a breakdown.


How much federal aid has poured into Tampa Bay since the start of the coronavirus pandemic?

This is a difficult question to answer. Since the United States government began distributing $ 5,000 billion in pandemic relief and stimulus packages in March 2020, agencies have tried to show where is this money going. Some have done better than others, offering online trackers and data listing specific rewards. Others have not reported much publicly (which in many cases can be attributed to the fact that at least $ 1.5 trillion in relief money has yet to be allocated).

The federal government has a monitoring system for emergency USAspending.gov which lists $ 14.4 billion in spending in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. But that doesn’t include massive spending like Unemployment Assistance and many federal contracts, and delays in reporting mean some rewards are yet to be counted.

Related: The Cost of the Pandemic: How Tampa Bay Lost Billions to COVID-19

To get a more complete picture of the Tampa Bay federal pandemic, we combed through the country’s three biggest stimulus and relief plans – the Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of March 2020 ( or CARES) against coronaviruses; the law of December on supplementary appropriations for interventions and relief against coronaviruses; and the March 2021 US bailout – then went to some of the departments tasked with handing out the most money. Some of their expense tracking tools are much more detailed than USAspending.gov. Others provided spreadsheets filled with millions of rows of data, from which we sifted through Tampa Bay’s share.

Aerial view of the nearly deserted roundabout of Clearwater Beach at the height of COVID-19 closures, April 10, 2020. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Our best estimate – still incomplete -: $ 38.7 billion. Here’s how we got there. (All totals are as of October 22.)

Cities and departments: The CARES Law and American rescue plan money allocated to cities and counties, either directly or to states to be passed on as they see fit. Between them, an estimate $ 2.2 billion has been allocated to dozens of Tampa Bay governments, according to state, federal and city data. This money is spent in a variety of ways: virus mitigation, vaccine distribution, housing assistance, workforce training, small business development, grants for frontline workers and more.

Small enterprises : At least $ 10.1 billion has been paid to Tampa Bay through the US Small Business Administration Paycheque Protection Program, which provided forgivable loans to eligible small businesses. (The Tampa Bay Times and related companies received a loan worth $ 8.5 million.) The regional banks headquartered in Tampa Bay that processed these loans, and other loans across the country, collected 225 , $ 6 million in fees. And the targeted objectives of the US Small Business Administration Economic disaster loans brought in an additional $ 3.4 billion. Final sum: $ 13.7 billion.

With Seventh Avenue being more empty than usual due to coronavirus precautions in May 2020, chickens that normally avoid 7th Avenue have started to frequent Ybor's main thoroughfare.
With Seventh Avenue being more empty than usual due to coronavirus precautions in May 2020, chickens that normally avoid 7th Avenue have started to frequent Ybor’s main thoroughfare. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Education: Between the three packages, Tampa Bay K-12 school systems, colleges, universities and trade schools have received or expect to receive more than $ 3 billion, according to the Ministry of Education expense tracking and state and local district estimates. (Many private schools have also received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.) That number is probably several hundred million low. It does not include money flowing through individual counties through statewide education or child care programs. And that doesn’t take into account the roughly $ 2 billion in funding for the electronic transfer of benefits in the event of a pandemic for 2.7 million children eligible for free or reduced meals. Last year and This year.

Health care: The Department of Health and Social Services has chronic some $ 280 billion allocated to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries, including healthcare providers and businesses and the uninsured, to compensate them for additional costs associated with screening, treatment and vaccination against COVID -19; and losses due to delayed treatments such as elective surgeries. An approximate amount for Tampa Bay: $ 1.4 billion and cash.

Lodging: Bill by bill, Tampa Bay was allocated blocks of federal housing and rent relief: $ 27.8 million of a state tranche funded by the CARES Act; $ 246.7 million in rental assistance from the December invoice and American rescue plan; $ 131.3 million in grants from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Many more millions are expected thanks to programs that have not been deployed, but for now, it is $ 420.4 million.

Leisure and hospitality: Two targeted relief programs, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Shutter Room Operator Grants, targeted the hard-hit hospitality and entertainment industries. Both programs took a long time to roll out, but brought $ 341.4 million in Tampa Bay.

Transport: Regional airports received $ 244.6 million to offset the huge blow to the airline industry, while transport authorities received $ 160.6 million in additional funding “to prevent, prepare for and respond to” pandemic, as directed by the US Department of Transportation. It’s another $ 405.2 million.

A normally busy arrival area on April 22 at Tampa International Airport.  The airport has held several job fairs in an attempt to attract employees to its stores and runways.
A normally busy arrival area on April 22 at Tampa International Airport. The airport has held several job fairs in an attempt to attract employees to its stores and runways. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Federal contracts: The Federal Government Procurement Data System counted at least $ 314.6 million in coronavirus-related contracts with businesses and other entities in Tampa Bay, with the government signing deals for everything from equipment rentals to telecommunications services, from medical supplies to fresh fruits and vegetables. If all contract options are exercised, these transactions could potentially be worth up to $ 526.5 million, according to the Rewards management system.

Unemployment assistance: State Employment Opportunities Department paid Floridians nearly $ 24.5 billion in federal pandemic unemployment relief in addition to regular state unemployment benefits. He has not publicly tracked payments by county. But the region accounts for more than a fifth of the state’s claims, according to the department, just as it accounts for more than a fifth of Florida’s population. That’s a fifth of that federal relief, or $ 4.9 billion, a reasonable estimate.

Stimulus payments: Through the three relief programs, the US Department of the Treasury sent Floridians 33 million economic impact payments worth $ 54.5 billion. The purpose of the money was twofold: to help people and families in difficulty compensate for lost income and repay their debts; and To stimulate consumer spending to stimulate struggling businesses and, therefore, the economy. The Internal Revenue Service has not publicly tracked these payments beyond the state level. But a fifth of Florida’s payout – Tampa Bay’s approximate share – would be $ 10.9 billion.

Child tax credits: The American Rescue Plan’s Expanded Child Tax Credit Program distributed approximately $ 15 billion per month since its launch in July. Florida’s average monthly share was $ 927.2 million. If this average is maintained until December and Tampa Bay again gets a fifth, it is $ 1.1 billion for local parents.

That brings us to $ 38.7 billion. And that’s before you factor in provisions that have yet to be broken down or counted, including a myriad of tax benefits, mortgage relief programs, infrastructure financing and more. When counted, these funds could add billions to the total.

One thing to remember, said Casey Mulligan, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, is that it’s not just about free money. Even grants and forgivable loans have to get money from somewhere, and that somewhere, in this case, is the federal government – an entity that most Americans pay into. In that sense, that $ 38.7 billion is a price we are all paying.

“There will be taxes in the future, or less government spending in the future, and that will be a burden that Tampa will share with the rest of the nation,” Mulligan said. “We are doing redistribution to help those most affected, but it is redistribution. It doesn’t make the pie fat.


About Christopher Easley

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