Governor Laura Kelly today announced a strong response to the state’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Economic Development and Connectivity grant application process, which has yielded more than 7,000 requests for assistance from businesses and nonprofit organizations across Kansas.
Of the 7,000-plus grant applications submitted, more than 5,000 were for Small Business Working Capital grant funds.
“The initial response to this application period has been extraordinary,” Governor Kelly said. “We’re ready to give each application the consideration and attention it deserves – and we’ll make sure these funds are deployed in the most effective and strategic way possible to help small businesses, nonprofit organizations and others affected by COVID-19.”
More than $138 million in grants to serve businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic and for the expansion of broadband access in the state was made available by the SPARK Taskforce established earlier this year by Governor Kelly to lead Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19.
Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG) applications will be reviewed starting at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, when those applications are due. Because of the high volume of applications received, we will no longer accept applications for Small Business Working Capital and PPE Procurement grant programs after 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31. Small Business Working Capital and PPE Procurement grants are reviewed on a rolling basis.
“The response from small businesses across the state has been amazing, and I’m proud to know that so many organizations will benefit from these grants,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “I’m so grateful to the organizations across Kansas that helped us amplify this message so quickly. Now, we need to make sure these funds are distributed in a way that benefits all Kansans and ensures that our state can get back to business.”
The SPARK Taskforce and Kansas Department of Commerce intend to maintain the Small Business Working Capital, PPE Procurement and Connectivity Emergency Response Grant programs in case additional federal CARES Act funding becomes available.
The online application process for several other SPARK grant programs will remain active. Details are available at kansascommerce.gov/covidrelief.