Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered up to $7 million from the city’s general fund to support emergency assistance in the coronavirus pandemic.  

“Our communities are in need of help and we are listening,” said Bottoms in a press release announcing the executive order. “This is one step to provide relief and we are going to continue to look for opportunities to help those in need as we go through this together.” 

The order allows the chief financial officer to allocate up to $7 million by transferring uncommitted general funds to provide emergency assistance. The order calls for the following allocations, largely without specifying programs or distribution methods: 

  • $1 million to provide emergency assistance to child food programs.
  • $1 million to provide emergency assistance to senior food programs.
  • $1 million to provide emergency assistance to homeless preparedness.
  • $1.5 million to support small business continuity.
  • $1 million for the purchase of technology to support the city’s full telework deployment for non-essential staff.
  • $1.5 million to assist “the city’s partners in the financial industry” to help hourly wage earners employed by businesses engaged with the city. 

The total funds could be spent in any of those areas without limitation, the order adds. 

The order also says the city will seek reimbursement from the state and federal governments and will identify ways to leverage Community Development Block Grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.