The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), H.R. 748, Public Law No. 116-136, was signed into law on March 27, 2020, to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. The CARES Act resulted in a significant expenditure of funds across the federal government, including more than $1.9 billion to support the Department’s response to the coronavirus. Among other provisions, the CARES Act funded the Department to support economic development assistance programs; provide training and technical assistance to small minority businesses; provide assistance to fisheries affected by the coronavirus; assist manufacturers to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus; and support continuity of operations. To support these activities, the following Departmental bureaus were appropriated funds through the CARES Act: Economic Development Administration ($1.5 billion); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ($320 million); National Institute of Standards and Technology ($66 million); Minority Business Development Administration ($20 million); and OIG ($3 million).
Next, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, H.R. 133, Public Law No. 116-260, was signed into law on December 27, 2020, and provided the Department more than $1.9 billion for coronavirus stimulus and government funding until September 30, 2021. Departmental bureaus that received related funds included the Minority Business Development Administration ($25 million); National Telecommunications and Information Administration ($1.585 billion); and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ($300 million).