Kansas says it can’t help half of the firms seeking COVID-19 aid


A stack of $100 bills (Nexstar, file)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas officials say the state can’t help at least half of the struggling small businesses seeking relief because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly called Monday for additional federal aid as the state reported another record for new coronavirus cases.

Governor Kelly and state Commerce Secretary David Toland announced that Kansas awarded grants to nearly 2,000 small businesses to help them cover operating costs.

Her office said the grants totaled $37.5 million, and Toland said the state hopes to award another $20 million to an additional 1,000 businesses.

Toland said 6,000 businesses sought relief so that half won’t get funds unless Congress approves more funding.

In a news release Monday,Governor Kelly announced that the state has officially surpassed $2 billion in new capital investment in 2020. This investment is brought by new economic development projects driven by Governor Kelly’s administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce.

To celebrate the investment numbers, Governor Kelly and Secretary Toland today visited and toured Plastikon Healthcare in Lawrence.

The company, a plastic and contract manufacturer, recently expanded its facility to produce test tubes for COVID-19 testing. The expansion will bring nearly $6 million in capital investment to Kansas and create about 40 jobs.

Capital Investment Highlights:

The Plastikon expansion joins the ranks of approximately 86 new economic development projects completed across the state this year, including:

  • Urban Outfitters, Inc., whose new 880,000-square-foot omnichannel distribution center in Wyandotte County will create up to 2,000 new jobs and invest over $400 million in Kansas over the next several years;
  • Amazon’s two new fulfillment centers in Kansas City, Kansas, and Park City, which will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs;
  • Great Plains Manufacturing’s new manufacturing facility in Salina, which will result in more than $43 million in capital investment and create 130 full-time jobs;
  • The new Nor-Am Cold Storage facility in Dodge City, which will bring 90 new full-time jobs and $30 million in capital investment;
  • And the new Peerless Products production facility in Iola, which will create up to 120 new full-time jobs with a capital investment of $10.35 million

A full list of Commerce business successes can be found on the Department’s website.

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