FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Today is the day that CARES Act Funds were supposed to be either spent or returned.

But as a part of the stimulus package signed by President Trump Sunday, the CARES Act deadline has been extended.

Local organizations have been hustling to get their CARES Acts funds spent because to the best of their knowledge it had to be done by December 30th.

Now they’re learning they could have spaced it out over the next 12 months.

“Lord I’m out of money will they give me more money I could take it I sent my final report in this morning,” says Jannie Layne is the founder of Bo’s Blessings.

Bo’s Blessings is a local non-profit aimed at helping Arkansas veterans and is someone who could have benefited from the extended deadline.

Layne says, “with a lot of hard work a lot of phones calls a lot of miles a lot of hours in the day… “and then we just got out and busted out butts to spend the money.”

Scott Hardin with the Arkansas Department of Finance says those who spent all of their CARES Act won’t be eligible for additional funds, but that doesn’t mean the extra time won’t still help. 

Hardin says, “now we can put the breaks on for this remaining funding and say what do we do from here how can we spend this 40 million and really make it count,”… “so the communities work will continue so again having to make some really significant decisions on 10’s of millions of dollars in a matter of hours.” 

Out of the $1.25-billion the state received, $40 million is still unallocated. There’s another $100 million that’s been allocated but hasn’t yet been spent.

Hardin says, “we have spread that through a virility of programs to businesses to hospitals to others it really has been a success in helping the state get through this tough time.” 

Hardin says any organizations that spent all the cares act funding prior to the previous deadline will not be eligible to receive any more. Those with remaining funds now have until December 31st, 2021 to get that done.