Kansas businesses will soon be able to apply for new round of federal funding

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – More cash is headed to Kansas businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, businesses can start applying for more than $100 million in federal funding.

The two main focuses of the grants are internet connectivity and economic development.

The state’s SPARK Task Force recently approved $60 million in order to improve access to the internet in Kansas. Businesses are able to apply for $50 million of that if they make improvements for telehealth or remote working. The other $10 million is to help low-income households improve connectivity.

“Make sure we’re making targeted investments that will pay off in the long run in terms of giving our state better broadband access,” Kansas Commerce Secretary David Toland said about the grants.

Another $70 million that was approved is to help the Kansas economy get back on track. Applications for grants are split into categories to help specific areas of the economy. You can see the categories and requirements here.

Some of the areas include food supply, cyber-security and businesses that make personal protective equipment.

“What we’ll have now is programs that are targeted to each of those sectors, and they each have a little bit different criteria and requirements,” Toland said. “Based on what a hair salon needs is different than what a manufacturer needs.”

A wider category allows any small business that has been hurt by the crisis and is seeing revenues down by at least 25 percent this year to apply for money to be used to keep the company afloat.

“These small business grants are intended to be working capital, so that’s flexible money that can help pay salaries, rent, buy inventory, and a range of other needs that small businesses have,” Toland said. “What we want is to be flexible and nimble, and let businesses identify where they need those dollars within this broad category of working capital.”

This money is part of more than $1 billion the federal government provided to states to decide how they want to use it to provide coronavirus relief.

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