Richland County approves ARPA funding for broadband, nonprofits

May 19, 2023

Senior assistance, services for unhoused people also approved as distribution continues

Richland County continues to distribute millions in federal funding to help local small businesses, nonprofits and other organizations negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) directly allocates funds to local governments. In 2022, the County designated up to $16 million in ARPA funding for local organizations. When applications for funding closed last October, the County had received 427 applications for requests totaling more than $107 million.

Council previously determined that funding would be distributed based on the following categories:

  • Broadband services in underserved areas
  • Nonprofits
  • Senior assistance
  • Services for unhoused people
  • Small businesses (501(c) certificate not required)
  • Workforce training
  • Education assistance
  • Food insecurity
  • Youth and recreational services

To date, County organizations that have been approved for funding and their respective categories are:

Broadband services in underserved areas

  • Richland Library
  • Columbia International University


  • Epworth Children’s Home
  • Midlands Mediation Center
  • The Cooperative Ministry

Senior assistance

  • S.C. Association of Community Action Partnerships
  • SC Uplift Community Outreach

Services for unhoused people

  • Alston Wilkes Society
  • Compass Community Development Corp.
  • Eddings Help House
  • Mental Illness Recovery Center Inc.
  • Restoration803

Categories with applicants that are still awaiting application review or approval by County Council include:

  • Small businesses (501(c) certificate not required)
  • Workforce training
  • Education assistance
  • Food insecurity
  • Youth and recreational services

While County Council has not allocated funds for affordable housing through ARPA, the County has directed up to $4 million in available funding toward affordable housing from the County’s budget.

Background on ARPA

Richland County hired third-party vendor Guidehouse (formerly Grant Thornton Public Sector LLC) to assess and score applications for funding distribution based on U.S. Treasury requirements. Businesses and nonprofits that met a specific level of Treasury compliance measures were then evaluated according to the County’s approved scoring rubric.

Based on that rubric, Guidehouse forwarded its recommendations for funding to the County. Staff then provided to the County’s Coronavirus Ad Hoc Committee each qualifying group’s scores and applications, and the committee forwarded its recommendations to full Council for approval.

ARPA funds must be obligated by Dec. 21, 2024, and must be fully expended by the end of 2026. Funding is contingent upon compliance with all regulations associated with ARPA.

Applicants can follow County Council meeting agendas to find out when funding is awarded. Once the process is complete, all applicants will be notified of their application status. Learn more about ARPA on Richland County’s website: