Webinars, workshops planned to navigate complexities of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

(Cary, N.C.) International strategic business consulting firm F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources has launched an economic stimulus compliance program to assist clients in applying for and managing Federal funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The program, Beyond Recovery: Maximizing Stimulus Investment Minimizing the Cost of Compliance, focuses on organizations that are receiving federal funds directly or through the state pass-through programs. Webinars and workshops are scheduled to begin in August with such topics as Getting Started:  Opportunities, Proposals, and Registrations; Setup and Redesign of Accounting to Track Funds; Reporting and Monitoring Your Subrecipients and Subcontractors; and Audit Readiness – What To Expect and How to Prepare.

“I’ve been working with clients seeking stimulus funding and there are definitely a lot of strings attached,” Lea Strickland, president of F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources, said. According to Strickland, most of the ‘strings’ have to do with complicated Federal compliance issues and timing considerations that need to be worked into client processes and daily operations, financial and management, as well as the business strategic plans and budgets.

“There’s more to it than just putting together a quality application; there is a significant amount of strategic planning that needs to be done to support and manage the utilization of the funding once it is approved, including setting-up a reporting process and ensuring business continuity,” she said, adding, “The strategic planning and business impact need to be assessed and understood before investing the time and effort in preparing the proposal.”

By developing and implementing a strategic stimulus funding plan and incorporating it into an existing business model, businesses or nonprofits of any size can position themselves to grab market share and benefit from ARRA monies. Competitors who are unprepared to do the same, Strickland said, can be easily overwhelmed by Federal compliance issues and fail.

Signed into law in February of this year, the ARRA is projected to save and create three to four million jobs, 90 percent of them in the private sector, according to the website Recovery.gov. With the deadline for applications to receive some of the funds rapidly approaching, F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources will be hosting informative webinars and providing articles and tip sheets for those unable to attend the Beyond Recovery workshops.

Strickland said there are many misconceptions about ARRA funds. For example, she points out that even if a business is approved for funding, that does not necessarily mean they will receive money anytime soon due to the award process and pre-award financial and capability audits.

“Many organizations that submitted funding proposals are in the review process and waiting for the notice whether or not they will receive the funds.  Others like the states and “earmarked” programs are waiting for the money to be delivered as the Federal government continues to put in place program award process, oversights, and define the terms and conditions.  Further, many agencies have yet to determine just how the funds will be monitored beyond the Recovery.gov website reporting,” she said, adding, “In most cases the Feds can’t commit to a date when the monies will actually be made available to the grantees. Companies need to plan for such delays while continuing to work toward goals associated with the funding.”

Webinars and workshop registration information is available via e-mail:  [email protected] subject Recovery.  Dates, times, and locations of workshops and webinars will be available on the F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources website (focusrebuild.wpengine.com/events) beginning August 10, 2009.

F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources was founded in 2002 at the request of several early stage and established companies looking for strategic financial and business management help. Since then, the company has served over 400 clients in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

About F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources:
F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources is an international strategic business consulting firm guiding clients in the design and development of successful new ventures and diagnosing the root cause of performance issues in established for-profit companies and nonprofits. Crafting effective business management infrastructure related to finance, operations, commercialization, utilization and strategy, F.O.C.U.S.™ Resources services build business sustainability to support sales, private and government funding efforts and organizational growth. For more information, visit focusrebuild.wpengine.com/

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