KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Overland Park announced three new grant programs Tuesday for small businesses or hotels using money from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Two of the grant programs, which will be administered by the Community Capital Fund of Kansas City, Missouri, will help mitigate the impact of employee loss during the COVID-19 pandemic or to meet ongoing economic needs for businesses with fewer than 250 employees and less than $2 million in annual revenue..
The third grant program has been established to help Overland Park-area hotels.
Awards of up to $50,000 are available through the three programs — which will provide special consideration to minority-, women- or disadvantaged-owned businesses as well as businesses that provide goods and services to low-to-moderate income residents.
“Overland Park small businesses are a driving force behind our community’s strong neighborhoods, infrastructure, and of course, economic growth,” Mayor Curt Skoog said in a statement. “Using this federal funding to support these businesses is key to Overland Park’s continued success through the pandemic.”
The city conducted listening sessions in January to gather community input about the needs that should be targeted with federal funding.
The Community Capital Fund, which previously administered the Overland Park Small Business Recovery Program using money from the CARES Act, designed the programs based off the information from those sessions.
“As the pandemic has evolved, so have the issues facing Overland Park’s small business community,” Community Capital Fund Executive Director Phyllis Hardwick said in a statement. “Community Capital Fund is proud to continue our support of the City of Overland Park and their desire to get these dollars into the hands of local business owners.”
The Impacted Industries Fund will provide grants to “businesses operating in industries that experienced employee loss during the pandemic.”
Those industries include “utilities, management of companies, information, education services, mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, accommodation and food services, and creative industries,” according to a release from the city.
The Small Business Rescue Fund is available to businesses or nonprofits in need of help “for payroll, off-setting economic losses, childcare support for employees, business improvement needs, and training and hiring needs.”
Finally, the Hotel Fund will provide assistance for locally owned hotels in Overland Park to alleviate “the unique, ongoing challenges of the hotel industry.”
“The American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Kansas," Rep. Sharice Davids, the only member of the Kansas congressional delegation to vote for the relief and stimulus package, said in a statement. "As small businesses face new challenges — from supply chains to workforce — we are making sure they can keep serving our communities and powering our economy. These programs represent a collaboration between state, local, and federal efforts as well as private funding opportunities to support our small business owners.”
Applications are now open for the trio of grant programs. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2022.
Businesses and nonprofits should only apply to one of the three programs, which will be reviewed by the Community Capital Fund. Awards will not be granted on a first come-first served basis.
“It is difficult to have thriving neighborhoods and thriving cities without small businesses," Hardwick said. "They are often a biggest employer in a community and they also provide additional support and services."
Overland Park distributed $200,000 in small-business grants in 2020 and $460,118 in 2021 using CARES Act funding.
Brian Goldman and his wife, Fernanda, the owners of Taco Naco, received one of the grants in 2020.
“Any little bit helped," Brian said. "That, more than anything, gave us peace of mind that we can go on one month without making money.”
The couple's taco restaurant at 8220 Metcalf Ave. was able to pay rent and retain employees thanks to the previous grant.
Goldman said he plans to apply for another grant with the new round of funding.
“There’s still a lot of hurdles in our way this year," Goldman said. "Now, this year, the big thing is inflation, of course, and we have still a few supply-chain issues.”