Cities facing the biggest revenue losses due to COVID-19

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January 27, 2021
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Cities facing the biggest revenue losses due to COVID-19

COVID-19 took the world by storm, and the virus brought with it financial hardships and an economic recession all over the United States. Both businesses and government entities experienced diminished income and often-increasing expenditures.

Just over one year into the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, paving the way for funding for small businesses and anti-poverty programs for families and individuals, and allocating $130 billion to local governments to fill the gap between pandemic-related costs and lower revenues. Another $10 billion is available to resolve inequities in broadband access—especially illuminated when work and school moved to homes—by providing funds for infrastructure.

And then there was the CARES Act—but some areas just started receiving funding awarded in that bill—a year later.

Economic researchers Howard Chernick, David Copeland, and Andrew Reschovsky estimated the financial toll that COVID-19 would take on cities across America in their paper titled "The Fiscal Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cities: An Initial Assessment" and published in the September 2020 issue of the National Tax Journal. The researchers evaluated 150 fiscally standardized cities based on how much tax revenue they were expected to lose in Fiscal Year 2021. Their results are reflected in two estimates of tax revenue loss, covering areas such as sales tax, personal income tax, and property tax: one estimate uses a less severe scenario (less revenue loss) while the other uses a more severe scenario (more revenue loss). In this story, Stacker ranked the top 100 cities with the highest revenue loss under the less severe scenario; ties are broken by revenue loss under the more severe scenario.

Of the 100 cities on this list, 11 are in California, eight are in Florida, six are in Ohio, and five are in New York. Cities in New York state make up four of the top five cities with the largest projected revenue losses. Read on to learn how your city has fared, and find out how private, local and federal funding helped compensate for revenue losses.

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#100. Baltimore

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.6% (#97 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 7.3% (#115 highest)

Baltimore saw a spike in COVID-19 cases in April 2021 that rivaled numbers from the winter, and production of the J&J vaccine at a  Baltimore plant was temporarily suspended. City officials accounted for historic lows in funding in a preliminary budget.

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#99. Santa Ana, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.6% (#97 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.1% (#95 highest)

Voice of Orange County suggested that federal funding could help remedy systemic issues by providing access to broadband and health services, creating more open spaces, and helping small businesses by giving debit cards to residents. "Right now we have this really incredible opportunity to do things that are completely unprecedented," notes Santa Ana Maylor Vicente Sarmiento.

The city lost millions and local neighborhoods represented some of the highest case counts of COVID-19 in Orange County in August 2020.

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#97. San Diego (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.6% (#97 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.2% (#91 highest)

COVID-19 just amplified systematic failures that impact the Latinx community, according to San Diego community leaders. Mayor Todd Gloria proposed a $4.6 billion "Back to Work SD" budget that "prioritizes an equitable recovery from the impacts of the pandemic." Within the budget, funds are allocated for library services and street improvements in communities of concern, as well as small businesses and nonprofits in "hard-hit industries." The city avoided significant spending cuts due to $300 million in federal funding from President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan.

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#97. Fremont, California (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.6% (#97 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.2% (#91 highest)

Vaccine company Resilience plans to build facilities in Fremont after securing $800 million in VC funding in November. The company plans to be operational in the new space in 2022.

Facebook offices in the Bay Area suburb have been closed during the pandemic, but there are plans to gradually reopen.

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#96. Frederick, Maryland

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.7% (#94 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 7.4% (#114 highest)

Frederick is home to a number of life science companies, where hiring actually boomed during the pandemic. Some, including Astrazeneca, are creating COVID-19-related tests, materials, therapeutics, and vaccines.

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#95. Omaha, Nebraska

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.7% (#94 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 7.8% (#106 highest)

Even with the Rescue America Act in place, one CEO in Omaha, Nebraska was still waiting funds from the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant that received $15 billion as part of 2020 year-end pandemic relief funding. University of Nebraska-Omaha fared a bit better: The school received $32 million that was allocated to help students and cover operational costs that didn't disappear with the advent of online classes. 

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#94. Los Angeles

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.7% (#94 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.5% (#81 highest)

Permit applications for Hollywood productions were at 60% of normal in April 2021, but that's good news compared to January 2021, when numbers were only only at 20%. The city's public transit agency, though, was forced to cut its budget by $1.2 billion due to the huge drop in ridership due to the pandemic.

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#93. Birmingham, Alabama

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.8% (#90 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.0% (#100 highest)

Funding minority-owned businesses, affordable housing and mental health care for children are among the priorities for the $148 million received by Birmingham due to the American Rescue Plan. The city experienced $63 million in losses during the pandemic.

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#92. Fresno, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.8% (#90 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.5% (#81 highest)

In April 2021, restaurants owned by people of color and women in Fresno became eligible for grants of up to $3,500 to cover payroll. The city was awarded $177 million in federal funds, and will finance programs including Beautify Fresno, rent and food assistance, and community safety.

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#91. Stockton, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.8% (#90 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.6% (#77 highest)

Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) was one resource available to city residents during the pandemic downturn: The universal basic income program gave $500 each month for two years to 25 residents. Those involved in the program had reduced levels of depression and anxiety, and found full-time employment at twice the rate of those not involved in the pilot.

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#90. Montgomery, Alabama

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.8% (#90 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.8% (#71 highest)

Cities aren't required to pay back funding from the American Rescue Plan, but there are limitations on how it can be spent. Broadband, water, and sewer projects are priorities for spending the $42 million Montgomery, Alabama received from the federal government. 

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#89. Knoxville, Tennessee (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.9% (#86 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.1% (#95 highest)

Knoxville was awarded more than $43 million from the American Rescue PlanCherokee Health Systems in Knoxville was one recipient: The nonprofit received more than $13 million.

Nationally, the plan includes direct funding for health care nonprofits and providers, and health care coverage changes and expansions to offer more access to care and affordability.

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#88. Nashville, Tennessee (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.9% (#86 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.1% (#95 highest)

Under the American Rescue Plan, Nashville received $132 million. Schools are one beneficiary of the money, that can be used to fund services for special populations, educational technology, and facility improvements. Hard-hit restaurants, entertainment venues, transit and airports also received assistance in Nashville and nationally.

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#87. Chattanooga, Tennessee

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.9% (#86 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.6% (#77 highest)

Homeless assistance grants are one area where the American Rescue Plan benefited Chattanooga: The city received over $3 million. The plan also benefits businesses and workers in that city and others, with an employee retention tax credit and tax-free unemployment benefits. 

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#86. Riverside, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 4.9% (#86 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.8% (#71 highest)

Over $79 million was allocated to Riverside from the American Rescue Plan. Transit, local education and emergency rental assistance are among the areas that were funded. University of California-Riverside was awarded $81.1 million.

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#85. Greensboro, North Carolina

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.0% (#84 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.0% (#100 highest)

Food and rent subsidies and schools are among the programs benefiting from the $56 million awarded to Greensboro from the American Rescue Plan. One nonprofit director called the plan a "game-changer" in terms of addressing poverty throughout North Carolina. 

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#84. Modesto, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.0% (#84 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.9% (#68 highest)

Modesto is one of many cities positioned to make mission-critical changes as a result of American Rescue Plan funding. Parks and the fire department are among the areas that were underfunded prior to the plan.

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#83. Jackson, Mississippi

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.1% (#79 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 7.6% (#109 highest)

Jackson was awarded over $46 million as a result of the American Rescue Plan. Three million was allocated to fix water issues in the city.

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#82. Raleigh, North Carolina

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.1% (#79 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.3% (#86 highest)

Almost $95 million in federal funding was awarded to North Carolina through the American Rescue Plan. Some of those funds were used for vaccine outreach to a Raleigh neighborhood especially hard hit during the pandemic.

Earlier in 2021, Raleigh set up funding for eligible small businesses that lost at least 25% of their revenue because of COVID-19. 

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#81. Memphis, Tennessee

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.1% (#79 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.5% (#81 highest)

Local organizations in Memphis have been active in helping the community survive the pandemic. River City Capital set up $20,000 grants to help small businesses, and prioritized those owned by Black entrepreneurs and/or those situated in low and moderate income communities of color. And the Blues Foundation set up an emergency relief fund to help full-time musicians.

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#80. Sacramento, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.1% (#79 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.0% (#64 highest)

Assistance for businesses in lower income communities of color has been prioritized when planning spending from the $121 million awarded to the city through the American Rescue Plan.  Grants, rather than forgivable loans, are one possibility.

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#79. Anaheim, California

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.1% (#79 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.1% (#62 highest)

Disneyland reopened in April 2021 ahead of schedule, after being shut down for a year. Still, analysts suggested in 2020 that the company could face up to $21 billion in lost revenue through 2022. Disneyland Resorts' outdoor strip called "Downtown Disney," an outdoor retail strip in Anaheim, has reopened with select restaurants and retail shops.

An Anaheim city official stated that the city plans to use American Rescue Plan funds to cover its budget deficit.

 

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#78. Aurora, Colorado

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.3% (#77 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.0% (#64 highest)

Aurora businesses with fewer than 500 employees that lost over 25% of their income due to the pandemic became eligible in April 2021 for up to $100,000 in rental assistance from Arapahoe County. And the city government offered hard-hit restaurants and bars grants to cover rent and payroll expenses.

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#77. Charlotte, North Carolina

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.3% (#77 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.3% (#59 highest)

Even though the American Rescue Plan waived taxation on the first $10,200 of federal unemployment benefits, those out of work in Charlotte and throughout the Carolinas won't see that help. Both North and South Carolina opted out of the federal break.

But the city's Open for Business Initiative offers mentorship, grants, and more to struggling ventures. 

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#76. Richmond, Virginia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.4% (#75 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.3% (#86 highest)

Transit in Richmond is one area that saw an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan. Money from the federal government supports the city's zero fare program that benefits lower-income and essential workers, as well as expansion of rail service

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#75. Gulfport, Mississippi

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.4% (#75 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.6% (#53 highest)

Access to COVID-19 vaccines improved for Gulfport residents as a result of the American Rescue Plan. A group of local health centers received $9.49 million in spring 2021.

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#74. Tucson, Arizona

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.5% (#72 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.4% (#85 highest)

Tucson schools were allocated in excess of $1,500 per student as a result of the American Rescue Plan, but those funds will go toward new programs and more summer school options, designed to deal with learning gaps that arose during the pandemic. After-school tutoring and learning opportunities during other breaks are among the other tools districts would like to implement to get students back on track.

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#73. Columbia, South Carolina

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.5% (#72 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.0% (#64 highest)

Three community health centers in Columbia were chosen to receive a total of over $15 million in American Rescue Plan funding. Beyond paying for COVID-19 care, the money will improve operational capacity by adding mobile units and updating existing infrastructure.

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#72. San Francisco

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.5% (#72 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.7% (#52 highest)

San Francisco moved from a $653.2 million deficit to a $22.9 million deficit because of the American Rescue Plan. The funding eliminated the need to cut police, 911 dispatch, and homeless outreach jobs.

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#71. Phoenix

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.6% (#67 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.6% (#77 highest)

Entertainment venues, arts organizations, museums, theaters, and event promoters are among the Phoenix businesses seeing hope of help in surviving the pandemic. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant would award funds equal to 45% of gross earned revenue, to a maximum of $10 million.

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#70. Washington D.C. (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.6% (#67 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.8% (#71 highest)

Washington D.C. lost out on millions in pandemic assistance because it's not a state. That changed with the American Rescue Plan, but D.C. is still missing out on thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine because of its status.

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#69. Columbus, Ohio (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.6% (#67 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.8% (#71 highest)

As Columbus hospitals lost millions and Ohio hospitals as a whole lost billions in revenue from March through July, the total anticipated loss of revenue for Columbus this year was predicted by city officials in June to total almost $42 million. A study released in mid-August suggests tax revenue from apparel, restaurants, tourism, and vehicle sales could fall by up to 50% due to the pandemic.

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#68. Burlington, Vermont

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.6% (#67 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.9% (#68 highest)

Burlington, known for its creative arts, expects a $15 million revenue loss from the pandemic in the next two years. The city faced a significant outbreak for a short period, which caused cases to soar temporarily, but the state health department by mid-August considers the outbreak to be resolved.

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#67. Gary, Indiana

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.6% (#67 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.5% (#55 highest)

The coronavirus pandemic served to exacerbate Gary's already tenuous economy and putting pressure on the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana to ensure families could stay fed. By late April, the city represented the second-highest case count of COVID-19 in the state. Just 44% of Ohio residents in late August approved of Gov. Gary Herbert's COVID-19 response.

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#66. Milwaukee

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.7% (#63 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.8% (#71 highest)

Milwaukee made news early on in the pandemic when former city health commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik warned residents about how dangerous the virus could be and brought to light the racial disparities in the city's coronavirus patients. By mid-May, Milwaukee County was bracing for a budgetary impact totaling $450 million due to Covid-19.

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#65. Boise, Idaho

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.7% (#63 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.9% (#68 highest)

COVID-19 came down especially hard on Idaho's education system, which took an almost $100 million cut in order to recoup lost revenue. Such drastic measures turned the economy around throughout the state: Idaho was on track by mid-August to see a $405 million surplus by the end of 2020.

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#64. Dover, Delaware

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.7% (#63 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.6% (#53 highest)

Dover by the end of May was down more than $5 million in utilities and services and lost over $100,000 in fees and permits related to events including the Dover NASCAR race. Kent County, Traffic data captured 1 mile south of Dover Toll Plaza on Del. 1 showed a 32% drop in traffic count between March 22 and May 27. Traffic throughout the state has rebounded but is still double digits below traffic counts from the same time in 2019.

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#63. Wilmington, Delaware

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.7% (#63 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.8% (#51 highest)

In total, Wilmington is expecting to lose more than $27 million in revenue from city fees such as property tax, licenses and permit fees, and red-light camera profits. As the city comes to terms with these losses, officials continue to plan for a slimmer budget for future fiscal years.

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#62. Rutland, Vermont

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.8% (#58 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.3% (#86 highest)

Rutland has cut down on spending due to the pandemic, but its healthcare workers seem to be the most affected, with more than a $6 million revenue loss to one of the city’s hospitals and about 150 employees furloughed. Revenue losses for the Rutland Regional Medical Center mirror those of hospitals around the country due to bans on elective surgeries.

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#61. Missoula, Montana

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.8% (#58 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.5% (#81 highest)

Montana got roughly $1.25 billion in federal funding to help recover economic losses during the pandemic. But Missoula County commissioners in July said money hadn't yet trickled down to Missoula County. Developers in late August pulled out of planned construction for a hotel and conference center at Missoula's Riverfront Triangle, citing falloffs in entertainment revenue amid the pandemic.

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#60. Chesapeake, Virginia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.8% (#58 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.6% (#77 highest)

Chesapeake‘s spike in reported coronavirus cases hit a high in mid-summer 2020. As a result, city officials came down with an iron fist on certain emergency orders. According to city health director Dr. Nancy Welch, many people ages 20 to 49 were possibly not aware of having the virus and were also not wearing a mask, social distancing, or taking other preventative measures to keep the virus under wraps.

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#59. Virginia Beach, Virginia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.8% (#58 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.8% (#71 highest)

Virginia Beach, known for its oceanside restaurants, anticipates a $67.3 million revenue loss due to the coronavirus. As a solution, restaurant owners encourage city council members to budget toward advertising the city and its attractions once the beach is deemed safe. Whether or not this will be implemented has yet to be determined.

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#58. Denver

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.8% (#58 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.3% (#41 highest)

As the pandemic began to garner the necessary attention, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in mid-May announced a $226 million revenue shortfall for the city and the mandatory furlough of hundreds of employees. According to Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon, Denver is currently seeing a more significant loss than in the Great Recession’s first year.

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#57. Lewiston, Maine

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 5.9% (#57 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.0% (#64 highest)

Lewiston officials have projected a $1.6 million revenue loss and are currently working to offset the striking numbers with its “rainy fund.” Some of these cuts include those of the public school system.

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#56. Billings, Montana

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.0% (#56 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.3% (#59 highest)

As of Aug. 4, 72% of state residents hospitalized with COVID-19 were being cared for in Billings hospitals. Several restaurants downtown closed during the pandemic, but new eateries opening suggest optimism and hope for a rebounding economy.

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#55. Providence, Rhode Island

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.1% (#52 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 8.1% (#95 highest)

The Providence Business Loan Fund offers an infusion of funding for eligible businesses and borrowers, while the city's Revolving Fund Commercial Corridor Micro-Business Loan provided eligible businesses with up to $5,000 for necessary renovations to reopen safely. For workers who lost their jobs, the state offers a means of holding onto health insurance through HealthSource RI.

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#54. Mesa, Arizona

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.1% (#52 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.2% (#61 highest)

Mesa in April was infused with $90 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The city that same month rolled out the Mesa CARES initiative in order to find out what businesses, residents, and local non-profits needed in terms of support to weather the pandemic. The outreach intiaitive was designed to help city officials learn how to best allocate the federal funds.

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#53. Norfolk, Virginia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.1% (#52 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.4% (#57 highest)

On July 31 amid a spike in COVID-19 cases that reached a 10.8% positivity rate, stricter rules throughout Virginia were enacted to limit indoor dining, close bars and restaurants by midnight, and establish "last call" at 10 p.m. The positivity rate dropped by early September to 6.7%, allowing regulations to loosen by Sept. 10. Norfolk business owners remarked to local news outlet WTKR that the city quickly came back alive.

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#52. Tulsa, Oklahoma

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.1% (#52 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.9% (#49 highest)

Despite increasing coronavirus cases and the budget’s financial loss, Tulsa City Council in early September approved $2 million in funds to cater to the city’s coronavirus relief. The funds focus on public health emergencies and community-driven programs. By doing this, the city hopes to help keep the economic structure as normal as possible.

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#51. Cincinnati

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.2% (#50 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.5% (#55 highest)

Amid extensive business closures during the pandemic, some Cincinnati residents have expressed worry about permanent changes to the neighborhoods. Throughout the state, about 800 restaurants have closed permanently.

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#50. Colorado Springs, Colorado

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.2% (#50 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.4% (#37 highest)

Colorado Springs has seen some positive signs for its economy, with sales tax revenue increasing month-over-month. A big driver of the increase came from auto sale taxes, which had stagnated in the spring.

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#48. St. Louis, Missouri (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.3% (#46 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.0% (#45 highest)

As schools across the nation scramble to find solutions to keep their students on track, St. Louis is one city that has tested the innovative idea of outside schooling. Though it's not as surefire a way to prevent the virus from spreading as staying home, it allows students to socially distance more than if they were inside a school building.

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#48. Dayton, Ohio (tie)

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.3% (#46 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.0% (#45 highest)

Dayton International Airport in early September was awarded $586,000 of $2.7 million in federal relief grants granted to Ohio airports. The aviation industry as a whole suffered some of the largest industry-wide revenue losses as travel came to a screeching halt during shutdowns and continued concerns over the transmission of COVID-19.

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#47. Spokane, Washington

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.3% (#46 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.3% (#41 highest)

Spokane lost $125 million in revenue on some of the city’s most popular events alone. City officials predict such events will not resume until September 2021.

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#46. Tacoma, Washington

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.3% (#46 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.6% (#32 highest)

Hundreds of Tacoma employees were laid off during the pandemic due to the Metro Parks’ shutdown in the spring, from which the city lost about $13 million in revenue. The parks' most revenue-dependent businesses reopened with revised safety guidelines over the summer.

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#45. Little Rock, Arkansas

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.4% (#42 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.1% (#62 highest)

About  $37 million in American Rescue Plan funds were allotted to Little Rock. Businesses there and throughout the state have access to Community Navigators who can help them assess what pandemic relief options are available to them. 

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#44. Akron, Ohio

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.4% (#42 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.0% (#45 highest)

Public spaces, housing, and violence prevention are among Akron's priorities as the city spends $153 million in American Rescue Plan funds over the next several years. The president of the city council noted that the funding is a "life-changing opportunity for Akron and its residents.” 

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#43. Cleveland

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.4% (#42 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.4% (#37 highest)

Community health centers in Cleveland are the recipients of almost $15 milllion in American Rescue Plan funds. Vaccinations and other tools to combat COVID-19 are among the ways that American cities can spend money awarded as a result of the act.

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#42. Huntington, West Virginia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.4% (#42 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.1% (#27 highest)

Almost $45 million was awarded to Huntington, West Virginia to help the city combat the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts are a primary focus as community health centers in Huntington and beyond create budgets on how to spend their funds.

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#41. Toledo, Ohio

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.5% (#40 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.3% (#41 highest)

Green housing and youth recreation are two areas that will see an influx of funds as Toledo spends the $188 million it was awarded. The Toledo Recovery Committee will review project proposals. 

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#40. Reno, Nevada

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.5% (#40 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.5% (#35 highest)

Residents throughout Nevada will see more savings on health plans as the state allocates American Rescue Plan funds to subsidies. Reno was awarded $53.8 million to help with pandemic recovery.

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#39. St. Petersburg, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.6% (#37 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.4% (#37 highest)

Many cities are using American Rescue Plans to make up for budget shortfalls during the pandemics, when revenues decreased and expenses skyrocketed. St. Petersburg, Florida is one of them. The city was awarded $46.66 million.

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#38. Miami

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.6% (#37 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.9% (#30 highest)

Helping small businesses and renters is one of the ways that Miami can spend the $139 million awarded from the American Rescue Plan. Infrastructure improvements were another area recommended by one city official. 

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#37. Indianapolis

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.6% (#37 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.3% (#25 highest)

Replacing lost revenue is one way that Indianapolis could use American Rescue Plan funds, according to the city's controller. Bridging gaps in small business and education funding is another. The city was awarded $425 million.

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#36. Nampa, Idaho

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.7% (#34 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.9% (#49 highest)

Idaho's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee created a measure to require approval from the legislature for allocation of funding from the American Rescue Plan. Previous pandemic funds were spent by the governor without legislative involvement.

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#35. Ft. Wayne, Indiana

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.7% (#34 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.6% (#32 highest)

Schools in Fort Wayne were awarded more than $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds. Accelerated learning opportunities will be one focus as the city allocates those funds. 

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#34. Seattle

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.7% (#34 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.5% (#22 highest)

Affordable housing and transit in Seattle are two areas that will see more funding as a result of the American Rescue Plan. The city was awarded $239 million in funds to aid pandemic recovery.

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#33. Tampa, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.8% (#31 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.3% (#41 highest)

Entertainment promoters, organizations and venues in Tampa and elsewhere will see some relief with the advent of Shuttered Venue Operators Grants. The businesses can apply for grants of up to 45 percent of 2019 gross revenue.

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#32. Lexington, Kentucky

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.8% (#31 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.4% (#37 highest)

Gap funding for small businesses in Kentucky was announced in April 2021. Local match funds of $600,000 will be added to $3 million in federal funds, and will be distributed by Community Ventures Corporation of Lexington.

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#31. Hialeah, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.8% (#31 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.0% (#29 highest)

Food drives have been one resource that has helped Hialeah residents survive the pandemic. The city was also awarded HOME funds to create and maintain affordable housing

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#30. Aurora, Illinois

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.9% (#29 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.0% (#45 highest)

Schools in Aurora were awarded $76.7 million under the American Rescue Plan. Funds can be used to close the digital divide, expand programming or improve health services. 

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#29. Topeka, Kansas

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 6.9% (#29 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.5% (#35 highest)

About $47 million was allotted to Topeka from the American Rescue Plan. The federal funds could cover hazard pay for frontline workers.

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#28. Fort Smith, Arkansas

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.0% (#27 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 9.4% (#57 highest)

About $22 million was earmarked for Fort Smith under the American Rescue Plan.  Fortunately, the city also saw higher than expected sales tax revenue at the beginning of 2021.

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#27. Pittsburgh

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.0% (#27 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.6% (#32 highest)

More than $354 million was allocated for Pittsburgh in the American Rescue Plan. Continuing to avoid layoffs of city workers—mostly police officers, firefighters and medics—will be one priority for the city as it spends funds.

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#26. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.1% (#23 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.1% (#27 highest)

Because of the American Rescue Plan, people in Oklahoma City and throughout the state are eligible for lower health insurance premiums—some may pay nothing. The change will help current enrollees and the uninsured.

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#25. Kansas City, Missouri

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.1% (#23 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.3% (#25 highest)

Expansion of Kansas City Streetcar service is one benefit area residents will see from the American Rescue Plan. Child care organizations in the area will also see an influx of funds. 

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#24. Las Vegas

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.1% (#23 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.5% (#22 highest)

Keeping first responders and other essential workers on the job is one priority for Las Vegas officials as they assess how to spend $131 million in American Rescue Plan funding. Rental and mortgage assistance is another. 

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#23. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.1% (#23 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.7% (#21 highest)

Fort Lauderdale has won $39.6 million in federal funding to assist with pandemic recovery. One benefit for the city's residents and others throughout the country is a 100% subsidy of COBRA insurance premiums, to help those who lost their jobs and their health coverage. 

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#22. Louisville, Kentucky

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.2% (#21 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 10.9% (#30 highest)

More than $400 million was allotted to Louisville to help the city survive the pandemic and beyond. Mayor Greg Fischer talked about prioritizing help for "those residents who are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice.” Housing and transportation are just two areas of many that will receive funding.

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#21. Charleston, West Virginia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.2% (#21 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.4% (#16 highest)

Charleston set up listening sessions where residents could advise city officials on how to spend almost $38 million allocated to the city. Health, economic development and public safety are some of the targets for funding identified by the advisory committee tasked with prioritizing use of funds.

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#20. Chicago

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.3% (#20 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 11.5% (#22 highest)

How will Chicago spend $1.8 billion in American Rescue Plan funds? A guaranteed basic income pilot is one priority. Chicago Public Schools were allotted another $1.8 billion for education needs. 

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#19. Charleston, South Carolina

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.6% (#19 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.6% (#13 highest)

City officials asked Charleston residents how to spend $38 million in American Rescue Plan funding. Some suggested assistance for small businesses and the homeless. Others wanted to improve the city's riverfront to attract tourism.

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#18. New Orleans

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 7.7% (#18 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.3% (#17 highest)

Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan was responsible for the end of furloughs of New Orleans city workers. The city expects $377 million in American Rescue Plan funds.

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#17. Philadelphia

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.0% (#17 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.0% (#19 highest)

Managing poverty is one way that Philadelphia wants to use $1.4 billion in federal funds: The city's rate is one of the highest of all major U.S. cities. Beyond city-specific funding, Philadelphia schools will net almost $1.3 billion for education needs. 

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#16. Grand Rapids, Michigan

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.2% (#16 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.0% (#19 highest)

More than $94 million is expected to be available to Grand Rapids from the American Rescue Plan. Avoiding layoffs and service cuts were among the city's priorities when deciding how to spend the money.

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#15. Warren, Michigan

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.3% (#12 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.3% (#17 highest)

Beyond helping those in poverty, the American Rescue Plan is helping middle-income residents in Warren and around the country.  After-tax income is expected to rise by over 5% for those in that earnings category.

Meanwhile, the city continues to struggle because of outbreaks of COVID-19: Output at an auto manufacturing plant in the city was down in April 2021 because 10% of workers (about 600) are infected or in quarantine.

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#14. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.3% (#12 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.5% (#15 highest)

Paratransit and other public transportation options are priorities as Baton Rouge determines how to spend American Rescue Plan funds. One elected official has asked for funding for bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

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#13. Tallahassee, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.3% (#12 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 13.0% (#12 highest)

Money to help cover past-due rent and utility payments is available to Tallahassee residents as a result of the American Rescue Plan. Funding was also allocated to the local transit agency.

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#12. Orlando, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.3% (#12 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 13.1% (#11 highest)

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is one resource available to Orlando "restaurants, food stands, food trucks and carts, caterers, bars, bakeries, brewpubs, wineries, distilleries, and many others.” 

Two colleges in the area used federal funds to better train students for in-demand careers.

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#11. Jacksonville, Florida

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.4% (#11 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 12.6% (#13 highest)

Jacksonville renters and homeowners alike received assistance in covering housing and utility costs when federal funds became available to the city. The Florida city also benefited from funding for its community health centers, designated to help prevent and treat COVID-19.

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#10. Flint, Michigan

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.6% (#10 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 13.5% (#9 highest)

Because of the American Rescue Plan, Flint schools are set to receive $36,00 per student. For the city with the second-highest poverty rate in America, that type of funding is a definite game changer.

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#9. Kansas City, Kansas

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 8.9% (#9 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 13.2% (#10 highest)

Transportation of all types is one of the winners as the Kansas City metro area spends federal funds. Streets and sidewalks are being fixed, and the streetcar extension is fully funded.

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#8. Wichita, Kansas

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 9.3% (#8 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 13.9% (#7 highest)

Wichita is one of several cities receiving HOME funding to create affordable housing and offer rental assistance to people at risk of homelessness. The program was funded by the American Rescue Plan. 

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#7. New York, New York

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 9.4% (#7 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 13.9% (#7 highest)

Managing gaps between past and future pandemic-related expenditures and revenues will be a focal point as New York City allocates $6 billion in American Rescue Plan funding. Because "independent venues ... are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life," the entertainment sector will be another major priority.

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#6. Detroit

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 9.5% (#6 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 14.2% (#6 highest)

Detroit will receive $880 million in federal funding to recover from the pandemic. Ending furloughs of city workers is one way that the city will allocate money.

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#5. Yonkers, New York

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 10.1% (#5 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 15.3% (#5 highest)

Residents in Yonkers and beyond will benefit from tax credits that further reduce the cost of health care for New Yorkers that buy insurance through the state. The help is available to current and new enrollees. 

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#4. Shreveport, Louisiana

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 11.1% (#4 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 16.0% (#4 highest)

Shreveport lost millions during the pandemic. Now the city has been awarded over $46 million for recovery through the American Rescue Plan fund.

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#3. Syracuse, New York

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 13.5% (#3 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 19.3% (#3 highest)

Rural broadband and incentives to lure businesses and tourists to Syracuse are among the ways that the city's mayor wants to spend $142 million in federal funding. Money will also be designated for rent relief and a homeless shelter, to help manage the area's housing crisis.

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#2. Buffalo, New York

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 13.7% (#2 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 19.7% (#2 highest)

Funding for infrastructure and helping businesses recover from the pandemic will be priorities as Buffalo spends $350 million in federal funds. The city also was awarded funds for the expansion of vaccine access

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#1. Rochester, New York

- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under less severe scenario: 13.8% (#1 highest of 150 cities examined)
- Projected FY 2021 revenue loss under more severe scenario: 19.9% (#1 highest)

Housing is being funded in Rochester by the American Rescue Plan. The city's housing authority was awarded $8.9 million to battle homelessness with emergency vouchers and other tools. 

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