Small biz grants coming to Augusta

Chad Frey
cfrey@thekansan.com
Small businesses in Augusta will be targeted for grants to help offset struggles  brought on by COVID-19. {Gazette File]

The city of Augusta is trying to take care of small businesses hurt by pandemic COVID-19 — first with community block grant loans announced in March, and now with straight grants in August.

“This is unique to Augusta,” said Josh Shaw, City of Augusta Mananger. “We suubbited tan application to the state for this.”

That application was among around 85 that were approved for grants to small businesses — businesses with less than 50 employees. And this assistance is a true grant, funds that do not have to be paid back later.

“It should be very helpful to a lot of people,” Shaw said. “We have been going after everything we can find.

The city is now taking applications for the CDGB-CV Small Business Grant Program. In late July the City of Augusta was notified by the Kansas Department of Commerce that its application for CDBG-CV funding for business assistance was approved. Augusta has $132,000 targeted towards small businesses with the highest risk of closing and/or laying off workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of cities that got these are doing it as a first come, first served thing. We are not doing it that way,” Shaw said. “We are doing evaluations based on need. There isa committee set up to evaluate these [applications].”

According to a news release, businesses will need thoroughly describe the negative

impacts of the pandemic on their revenues and operations.

Applications will be accepted online through 5 p.m. Sept. 6.

At 6 p.m. Aug. 27 the City of Augusta will be hosting a virtual informational meeting via Zoom to discuss the program,. Attendees will be given information on program eligibility and how to apply and will have an opportunity to ask city staff questions.

The Kansas Department of Commerce has removed many of the traditional Community Development Block Grant application requirements to expedite the review process. Businesses are not required to provide a business plan, financials, or collateral to secure these grants.

The meeting will also be live streamed on the City of Augusta YouTube Channel. Those

unable to attend the meeting will be able to view a recording on our online video archive.

The City of Augusta is accepting applications from businesses that meet the following requirements:

1. Must be physically located in the Augusta city limits;

2. Must have between one (1) and fifty (50) employees; including the owner;

3. Must demonstrate that at least 51% of full-time equivalent jobs retained through grant

funding are for persons from low to moderate income households;

4. Must provide proof of financial hardship due to COVID-19;

5. Must submit the application and all required supporting documentation; and

6. Must disclose if they have received capital through alternative sources (e.g. Economic Injury

Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loan) at the time of application

submittal).

Visit www.augustaks.org to learn more about the program and to access the online

application.