TOPEKA – The Department of Commerce will award $2 million through the Community Development Block Grant – COVID Resiliency (CDBG-CVR) program to enable cities and counties to address issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic when no other funds are available. This is a competitive CDBG grant with an application window that closes July 31, 2023.
Funding for the program was made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Kansas should utilize CDBG-CV funds to modernize facilities owned and operated by small businesses that provide vital services and goods. Funds will be prioritized for for-profit businesses that have a majority ownership by a socially or economically disadvantaged person or persons as defined in 15 CFR 1400.0.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they were hit hard by the pandemic,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “We are pleased to receive this funding that will help support more Kansas businesses and enable them to continue serving their communities.”
Eligible activities for the CDBG-CVR program include COVID resiliency improvements for businesses such as:
- Upgrades to remain open and prevent future closures due to community illnesses and public health emergencies
- Technology, hardware, and software upgrades
- E-commerce updates
- Professional development and training
- Other updates that can be directly related to resiliency improvements
Eligible businesses must have at least 51% of their employees meet the low- to moderate-income (LMI) standards. Like other CDBG grants, cities and counties will apply for the funds on behalf of eligible businesses and then make the funds available, administering the program locally. Non-LMI communities can still qualify for this funding if not an entitlement community. The LMI requirement is determined by the business and not the city.
The Kansas Department of Commerce provides CDBG funds to non-entitlement communities across the state, while entitlement communities receive CDBG funding directly from the federal government. Entitlement communities in Kansas include Kansas City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Manhattan, Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, and all of Johnson County. Cities and counties are also ineligible if they have a current balance in in their CDBG Local Revolving Loan Funds account.
You can get more information and access the application on their website.