Grant applications to support businesses affected by COVID-19 open in Kansas

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Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 12:18 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Applications are being accepted for $130 million in grants to support businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas businesses are encouraged to participate in the application process for over $130 million in grant to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and enable companies to expand broadband access in the state. She says the portal opens at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Gov. Kelly says the application portal for the SPARK economic development and connectivity grant programs will be available on the Kansas Department of Commerce website.

“This is an opportunity to revitalize our economy and for businesses to receive some necessary relief,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “I strongly encourage business owners to apply first thing Wednesday if they are eligible.”

The Governor says additionally, grants will be available to businesses whose products and services are needed in greater quantities to help combat coronavirus and its effects. She says funding is being made available to expand broadband access both through infrastructure improvements and by partnerships with internet service providers to serve low-income households. She says the grants are funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act.

According to Gov. Kelly, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how each sector differently and therefore applications for grants are being made available in the following categories:

  • Small Business Working Capital Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible to apply for this grant and funds can be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, rent, mortgage insurance, utilities, inventory, and more. She says grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are dispersed. 
  • Securing Local Food Systems Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says this grant program was created to support meat processing facilities, food processors, grocers, and food banks to address food for human consumption supply chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
  • PPE Procurement Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says this grant program will award businesses funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), implementation of workplace redesigns, additional signage, new technology solutions for distance working, and other items to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines on safely returning employees to work.
  • PPE Manufacturing Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says these grants will provide funding to manufacturers to reimburse certain costs to manufacture critical PPE. She says the grant funding will help entities with creating new businesses while contributing to the fight against the current COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • COVID-19 Bioscience Product Development Acceleration Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says Kansas has a strong pipeline of bioscience-related companies developing SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic, therapeutic and medical countermeasures. She says this grant program will accelerate commercialization and go-to-market strategies that allow these companies to quickly deploy novel technology by optimizing value and reducing risk through informed decision making.  
  • Connectivity Emergency Response Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says this grant was created to address the increased need for connectivity in Kansas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says proposed projects should improve connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of Kansas to address the needs of telework, telehealth, distance learning, and other remote business services.
  • Broadband Partnership Adoption Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says this grant will give support for low-income households by partnering with ISPs to leverage their existing adoption infrastructure and assure connectivity to as many Kansans as possible. 
  • Domestic Supply Chain Fortification Grant
  • Gov. Kelly says this grant will help offset business disruptions to companies’ supply chains caused by COVID-19 and assist with relocating jobs to Kansas from outside of the US. She says this grant program would be offered in addition to existing incentive programs (PEAK, KIT, HPIP, etc.) to improve the state’s competitiveness.
  • IT, Cybersecurity & IT Project Management Certification Training Grants
    • Gov. Kelly says to mitigate job losses as a result of COVID-19, the Kansas Department of Commerce is seeking a rapid response training program that will provide training, certificate testing, and job placement assistance in the areas of IT, cybersecurity, and IT project management. 
  • Higher Education Advanced Manufacturing & IT Equipment Grants
    • Gov Kelly says this program will support the needs of the advanced manufacturing industry in Kansas. She says the program will focus on reskilling/upskilling individuals affected by COVID-19 to meet economic sector needs in high-demand, high-wage occupations.

For more information on the grants or the application process, visit the KDOC website.

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