KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City is distributing small business grants in Clay County through the end of November, taking applications from businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic.
It is the third phase of funding from the CARES Act, with the first two phases each totaling $1.5 million in small business grants.
"This tranche is $400,000. Now, these grants will run anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 because what we're looking to do is get these funds out to 12 businesses out there," EDC's interim president and CEO T'Risa McCord said.
So far, the grants have been well received.
"We've had people come in I mean, they literally tried to hug us. They're like, 'Thank you, you don't know what this means.' We had one business where the co-owner, which was the wife, her husband had passed, and so her whole goal was to keep the business going, that whatever she needed to do to keep it going. So when we gave her that check, she just lost it, she was just in tears, you know, thanking us, you know," McCord said. "And we asked our business owners for one thing, every one of them, we said, we ask you to talk about your experience at EDC, ask you talk about that, and we need you to spread the word and let folks know this, these funds are available."
A recipient of one of those grants is Dorsch Orthodontics, which operates multiple offices in the region.
Dr. John Dorsch said the $40,000 grant wasn't for operations.
"Every new patient, we've had for the last three months until at least the end of the year will receive a discount on their orthodontic care," Dorsch said. "My goal was to use that money to subsidize $750 for every new patient in all of our three offices, flat out. And that benefits us because I can keep my staff employed. It was really to subsidize and give back. Because we all have to give back to our community."
McCord said the timing is urgent during the current phase of the pandemic.
"I'm very concerned about it, how I think it's going to affect us. I think more and more small businesses will be affected by it. I think what we're doing is, for some of these businesses, we're providing a lifeline, literally, but of course, we can only do so much. I think definitely folks are going to be impacted. They're going to have to adjust and we're going to do our best to be part of that process where they’re successful," she said.
That grant application is available online for interested businesses.