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Over 3,000 Kansas small businesses awarded over $57 million in grants

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Published: Mar. 27, 2021 at 2:13 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Over 3,000 small businesses in Kansas have been awarded over $57 million in grant funding.

Governor Laura Kelly says Coronavirus Relief Fund money helped over 3,000 small businesses in Kansas affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. She said through over $57 million in small Business Working Capital grants, some of the hardest-hit businesses in the state got vital support when it was most needed.

“We’ll use every resource we can to support small businesses as we recover from COVID-19,” Governor Kelly said. “SBWC is just one of many programs we mobilized over the last year to strengthen and protect our businesses affected by COVID-19, so our businesses and our economy emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.”

According to Gov. Kelly, Kansas businesses with less than 500 employees were eligible to apply for SBWC grants made available through her Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Taskforce through the federal CARES Act. She said grant funds could be used to pay working capital expenses like payroll, insurance, rent, mortgage, utilities, inventory and more.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Kansas economy,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Our small business community has been valiant in weathering this unprecedented economic storm, and the Kelly administration will continue to do everything in its power to see them recover and grow. I’m pleased that this funding played a significant role in providing relief to so many businesses, but I know that there is still much work to do. We are here to support Kansas businesses and will continue to be a strong partner for them during this crisis and beyond.”

Gov. Kelly said over 3,000 small businesses throughout the state moved forward with critical support from the grants. She said C5 Manufacturing, an agricultural product manufacturer in Kingman, had been developing its new project, “The Rancher,” before the pandemic. She said when COVID-19 hit, C5 struggled to begin production of the Rancher hay-bale beds because of a lack of working capital.

“We are now successfully making Ranchers thanks to the SBWC grant,” Ann Cress, of C5 Manufacturing, said. “We have orders that we are working hard to fulfill.”

According to the Kansas Governor, G and G Auto Shop of Leonardville used its SBWC funds to continue repairs for local and area communities and farmers. She said Bob Greeley, a military veteran and owner of G and G Auto Shop, noted that the grant was “immensely needed during these trying times.”

Gov. Kelly said Laser Trooper Laser Tag of Topeka was another grantee. She said Laser Trooper’s owner, Richard Kip Walker, worked three part-time jobs before he got an SBWC grant, which made it possible for him to return to running his business full time.

According to Gov. Kelly, as the state continues to see the benefit of the SBWC grants, Kansas is expecting an additional investment of small business funds through the recent passage of the American Recovery Plan. From restaurant revitalization to an expanded paycheck protection program, she said the money will support hard-hit small businesses and lift the communities they serve.

To see more SBWC grant recipients, click HERE.

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