KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new grant hopes to help minority-owned businesses rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning at noon, Monday, August. 17, the Kauffman Foundation and UMKC Innovation Center will begin accepting applications for the Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant.
Only the first 100 applications will be considered for a grant. The program has $100,000 to give away in increments ranging from $500 to $5,000.
“Latinos, or minorities as a whole, we have a harder time getting funding. I don’t know what part of that is systemic and what part of that is we don’t come from the same background as others where we might have wealth in the family somewhere,” explained Miel Castagna-Herrera, the co-owner of Cafe Corazon in Kansas City, Missouri.
She plans on applying for one of the grants Monday afternoon. She said it's great that organizations like The Kauffman Foundation and UMKC Innovation Center have recognized funding is an obstacle for minorities.
A UMKC professor studies Payroll Protection Program loans of more than $150,000 which went to businesses in the Kansas City area. He found overwhelmingly the loans went to businesses owned by men and Caucasians.
Rebecca Gubbels of the UMKC Innovation Center said small, minority-owned businesses are an essential part of the local economy.
“Minority entrepreneurs are more likely to employ other minority members of our community. They are often more likely to create givebacks to the community that also serve all of us, but in particular other members of minority groups,” she explained. “So it’s one of the neatest things we can do to serve our community at large deeply and effectively.”
Gubbels pointed out people of color working at partner banks will be the ones reviewing loan applications.
“Those who have had much more similar lived experiences are the folks who are taking a look at these requests and helping to discern the best places to get this money to entrepreneurs and into the hands of folks in our city,” she explained.
For information on how to apply for a Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant, go online.
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