The United States government recently passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a stimulus package for American organizations and individuals that is specifically designed to facilitate the American recovery from the harsh economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each city and county received specific allocation amounts from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

Among those that qualify for payments from the ARP are:

    • US Federal, State, County and Local Government entities
    • School Districts/Higher Education/Libraries
    • Health Care Providers
    • Small Businesses
    • Individuals and Families

While many MSPs will be relieved to see that their SMB clients in the United States qualify for payments from the American Rescue Plan, they may not realize that the American Rescue Plan has relevance specifically to their MSP business as well. SmarterMSP took an in-depth look into the American Rescue Plan to identify the key aspects that MSPs and their clients should know about.

Assisting clients with the American Rescue Plan

When an MSP opens a conversation with their client about the American Rescue Plan, many client organizations will immediately ask where they can go to apply for stimulus payments themselves. If the client is a state, territorial, metropolitan city, county, or tribal government, their MSP can direct them to the online portal, where they can receive funds directly from the U.S. Treasury. If they can’t access the funds directly, MSPs can point them to contact whoever they directly report to, whether it’s their City Council, Commissioners office, or review board for traditional projects. Clients in healthcare and education verticals have their own separate links where they can find further information on accessing funding from the ARP.

Regardless of industry, many SMBs may be unaware that their purchase of solutions and services, specifically ones related to cybersecurity, from an IT services provider could actually qualify for funding from the ARP as well. Sharing this information could make all the difference for a client that is struggling to fit all the offerings they’d like to offer into their budget.

How to help hesitant SMBs benefit from the ARP

Some objections from client organizations may arise around the funding and budgeting for purchasing these services that qualify. For example, some may not believe funding will be significant enough to be materially helpful or that they won’t arrive in time. Further, they might not be confident that their application will successfully get approved to receive the benefits; or, that the time involved to work on the application might not make the benefit worth it.

However, MSPs can easily walk them through these concerns, and may want to show the customer examples of success stories of other organizations in similar verticals who were able to strengthen and optimize their organization’s cybersecurity, using funding from the ARP.

There’s still time

MSPs should emphasize that the payments are still in the early stages of being distributed and funding will continue to cover applicable costs incurred by December 31, 2024. This means there is plenty of flexibility for SMBs in the US when it comes to the American Rescue Plan. And, while the process of acquiring funding from can take additional time, it’s well worth it for SMB clients to ensure they have the resources needed to properly protect their clients’ data.

Photo: mcjeff / Shutterstock

Posted by Bill Petherbridge

Bill is a Content Marketing Associate at Barracuda MSP. In this position, Bill is a key contributor to the management of the SmarterMSP.com and Barracuda MSP blogs. He also serves as copyeditor for Barracuda MSP content, in addition to maintaining Barracuda MSP's social media presence.

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