“Small businesses are suffering, really everybody is suffering,” said Josh Shaw, City of Augusta Mananger. “This is a program we talked to the state about and we're hoping people will be able to benefit from it. The goal is to make sure on the other side of this, small businesses are still around.”

To address the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Augusta is establishing the Kansas CDG Small Business Relief Program, which has $438,000 available for loans and grants targeted towards small businesses with the highest risk of closing and/or laying off workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kansas Department of Commerce has removed many of the traditional CDBG application requirements to expedite the review process. Businesses are at this time not required to provide a business plan, financials, or collateral to secure these grants and loans.

The first round of application reviews will occur on Friday, March 27. There is a limited amount of funding available, so the City encourages interested businesses to submit their application as soon as possible.

“Friday is the first round of applications and then we'll determine and make our allocutions and start releasing money,” Shaw said. “We don't know how widespread the demand is.”

Below are the guidelines and requirements for the Small Business Relief Program:

Maximum Loan/Grant is $35,000 per job retained. 51% of the persons impacted must be low to moderate income (LMI).

All funding under this program must be used for "working capital" as defined by the State of Kansas. Working capital includes salaries and wages, purchase of inventory, utilities, rent, insurance payments, etc.

At this time, grants are only available to cover utility costs (i.e. electric, water, wastewater, solid waste) for 90 days. Loans will be utilized for all other types of working capital.

Loans interest rates will not exceed 2.00%. No-interest and forgivable loans will be considered case-by-case based on need.

Loan repayment terms will be three (3) years or less.

Businesses can submit applications online by visiting the City’s website at www.augustaks.org.

If a business’ application is approved, they will execute a short loan/grant agreement with the City and then provide job certification forms as requested by the City. The City will then submit approved applications to the State of Kansas for authorization to release funds (48-72 hours). If approval is granted, the City will release funds. Businesses must provide receipts or other proof (e.g. payroll records) to verify that funding was used appropriately.