CARES Act Information for Local Governments

Service Information

American Rescue Plan 

President Biden recently signed a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP is an ambitious initiative to stimulate the American economy and curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Congress is expected to help working families, communities, and small businesses persevere through the pandemic through a variety of measures. The Cook County Bureau of Finance will continue to closely monitor this new package and assess its impact on local units of government.

Consolidated Appropriations Act

On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, was signed into law (Appropriations Act).  This bill includes more than $900 billion in COVID-19 related funding, including significant, targeted funds for pandemic-related unemployment, housing assistance, schools, COVID-19 response and mitigation, vaccination assistance, and transportation, among other provisions.  While the Appropriations Act did not include additional funding allocated to State and Local governments, it did provide funding for certain programs that could be administered by Cook County, including rental and utility payment assistance and vaccination support. 

Cook County is actively monitoring the opportunities and Federal guidance to use Appropriations Act funding for the benefit of Cook County residents and businesses.


In April 2020, Cook County received approximately $429 million from the U.S. Treasury from the CARES Act. Under the Act, Cook County allocated $51 million of the relief among over 300 local units of government located within Cook County. Allocations to each municipality were determined through an equity lens described in the Equity Distribution White Paper below, with factors that included the immediate needs of the municipality to respond to the pandemic, municipal population, municipal median income and municipal public health statistics. 

Equity Distribution White Paper

This document provides a description of the funding allocation model developed by Cook County and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, along with descriptions of the decision-making process used to develop the Sub-Grantee Allocation Method. As of mid-January 2021, Cook County has distributed over 90% of the allocated $51 million amounts to local governments, and we are working hard to complete remaining distributions in the first quarter of 2021. Helpful links including a white paper as well as an open data page that contains outputs for the equity model are below.