TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Some small business owners in Kansas are struggling to make ends meet and now one business owner is taking action.
Brian Ramey is the owner of Ramey’s recycling — a small recycling business in Osage City. Ramey started the business two years ago, when his wife became ill. Ramey’s business was one of his main sources of income, so when coronavirus hit his business slowed. This forced him to find other ways to make ends meet.
“In order for me to be able to survive, I had to sell off some of my equipment and everything to get the bills paid,” Ramey said.
Ramey could barely afford to keep up with his expenses, which led him to apply for state relief. After weeks of not hearing back, he received bad news.
The state relief funds were running low, which forced Ramey’s business alongside one thousand other businesses to not get any help.
The Kansas Department of Commerce has received more than 5,000 requests from small businesses for federal coronavirus relief.
Officials said the overwhelming demand left them with more than they can handle.
“Having to stand up to programs in a very short period of time, provided a lot of challenges to our organization and to our state,” said Bill Murphy, Deputy Secretary of Business Development at the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The federal government sent Kansas more than one billion dollars to help with coronavirus relief.
“It’s one of the things that we need that help from the government, from Governor Kelly, from the legislature here in Kansas, to allocate more money,” Ramey said.
Kansas sent $400 million to counties to address local needs, $101 million to public health, and $79 million to economic development.
The state handed out $36 million to help struggling businesses on a first come, first serve basis.
The state is working to decide how to distribute $75 million that’s left from the federal government, which is responsible for providing additional funds to Kansas small businesses. So far, Republicans and Democrats have not reached a compromise, causing a delay in distribution.
To learn more about the state of Kansas’ relief efforts, you can visit the SPARK Recovery Office website.