Governor Laura Kelly today announced that Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars aided nearly 3,000 Kansas small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through nearly $57 million in Small Business Working Capital (SBWC) grants, some of the hardest-hit businesses in the state received vital support when they needed it most.

“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.”

Kansas businesses with fewer than 500 employees were eligible to apply for SBWC grant funding made available by Governor Kelly’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce through the federal CARES Act. Grant funds could be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, insurance, rent, mortgage payments, 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.”

Nearly 3,000 small businesses across Kansas moved forward with critical support from SBWC grants.

C5 Manufacturing, a manufacturer of agricultural products in Kingman, had been developing their newest product known as “The Rancher” prior to the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, C5 struggled to begin producing the Rancher hay-bale beds due to 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.”

G and G Auto Shop of Leonardville used its SBWC funds to continue automotive repairs for local and area communities and farms. Bob Greeley, a military veteran and owner of G and G Auto Shop along with son Garrison Greeley, noted that the grant was “immensely needed during these trying times.”

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

Their stories are just a few of the many successes for small businesses statewide that received SBWC grants. View all SBWC grant recipients here.

As Kansas continues to see the benefit of the SBWC grants, the state 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, these dollars will support hard hit small businesses and lift up the communities they serve.