Did you know that you can use coronavirus relief funds for commercial restrooms? Even if your commercial building is a recent construction, anything done before the COVID outbreak did not account for social distancing or other health mandates.
There are more than 50 bacteria strains per square inch in a public restroom. That's just on the toilet. Whether you need to make a few upgrades or do a complete remodel, now is the time to apply for the funds for making these renovations.
Use funds to offer those who live, work, or patronize your building a better user experience in the public restroom. Here's how to get coronavirus relief stimulus funds to upgrade your commercial restroom.
- The American Rescue Plan (ARP) offers U.S.-based companies relief from financial hardships due to coronavirus. Relief came too late for over 100,000 affected businesses permanently closed.
- There are four programs available you can use for commercial restroom renovations, including the ESSER, HEERF, GEERF, and SVO.
- Upgrading your facility restrooms will give your patrons a safer place to use the facilities or wash their hands.
What is the Purpose of the Coronavirus Relief Stimulus Fund?
In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act was passed. It allocated $190 billion towards COVID-related relief.
Congress passed the ARP to make funds available for facilities for upgrades in March 2021. They allocated specific amounts towards each fund and designated funds for specific reasons.
Business owners faced significant financial issues at the onset of the coronavirus. Relief was critical for many to remain open. Over 100,000 businesses had to close permanently due to this global health crisis because stimulus funds came too late.
Some needed funding to pay off their accounts payables when they weren't generating revenue (the Payroll Protection Program). Others required upgrades to the facility to accommodate new mandates before reopening. Facility restrooms need the most upgrades.
There are four funds available that help you fund these types of projects. Before applying for these funds, you will need to conduct a site audit. That way, you will know exactly what needs to be done and your budget for the project. A site audit can also assess work values already spent on renovation.
How to Get Coronavirus Relief Stimulus Funds for Commercial Restrooms
If you haven’t yet been able to afford the upgrade or want to use funds to reimburse your company for previously investing, here is how to get these stimulus funds. There are four funds available.
1. ESSER II: $54.3 Billion
If your facility is a secondary school and education center (with Title 1 funding), you can apply for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER). Currently, $54.3 billion are available.
You can use the funds to make repairs or improvements that will help to reduce the risk of virus exposure and transmission. You can also reduce risks associated with environmental health hazards and support the health needs of students.
How to apply:
- Look up allocation amount (available online)
- Submit completed application (using the eGrant system)
- Include details of funding allocution per project
- Contact the Department of Education (DOE) for grant status
2. HEERF II: $21.2 Billion
If you are an education center that provides higher education (and receives Pell Grants) to college students, you can apply for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). You will receive funds according to the U.S. DOE funding formula.
You will not need to fill out a standard grant application, but you will need to contact the DOE. Use funds for a variety of upgrades. Consult with your administrator to discuss details about how to use the funds.
How to apply:
- Go to www.grants.gov
- Enter the number for the HEERF II grant
- Register a login
- Complete an SF-424 application form (available through the grant portal)
- Complete the DOE Supplemental Information form
- Follow up with the DOE
3. GEERF II: $4 Billion
Another relief fund to apply for is the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF). These funds assist local education agencies (LEA) in need of money for facilitating remote learning.
Use these funds for any purpose that makes it safer for students to attend upon re-opening. That includes upgrades to fixtures in the facility's restrooms.
How to apply:
- Apply from your state's website
- Fill out and submit an application
- Provide necessary documents required by your specific state
- Follow up with the Secretary of State, Governor's office, or your state's DOE
4. SVO: $15 Billion
Event venues were the establishments that struggled the most after the COVID-19 outbreak. Many remained closed for over a year because it wasn't safe to attend these types of facilities.
Congress passed the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant to provide relief for venues most impacted by the global health crisis. Use these funds for ordinary business necessities, maintenance costs, upgrades, and capital expenditures.
How to apply:
- Go to the Small Business Administrative (SBA) website
- Complete their online application
- Follow up with the SBA
Why You Should Spend These Funds on Your Commercial Restrooms
A shocking number of people don't wash their hands enough throughout the day. In a Gallup poll, only 2% claimed they don't wash their hands. That still equated to 86 million people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study that shows one in four (25.6%) do not wash their hands. That means that only 74.4% of people using public facilities have washed their hands.
You can improve the hygiene at your facility, reduce the chance of people contracting a virus, and enhance the aesthetics. Those are just the primary reasons why you should use stimulus finds upgrading your commercial restroom.
Making the Upgrades with Help from Chicago Faucets
At Chicago Faucets, we have the faucets, fixtures, and fittings your facility needs to make using your facility's restrooms a more hygienic experience. We have touchless faucets, metering fixtures, and hands-free actuators (through our parent company, Geberit).
Hygiene is essential for public health, especially today. We can help you make all the necessary upgrades to your commercial restrooms.
Whether you have applied for funds or are waiting to evaluate your needs, contact us for more information on how you can allocate your stimulus funds most effectively.