COVID-19 update

Clay County communities are partnering with the Clay County Economic Development Council to access federal grant funds for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, according to a press release.

The EDC is administering access to the funds in Clay County communities outside of Kansas City. Smithville is the most recent city to approve an agreement with the EDC for the relief grants. Applications for Smithville businesses will be accepted through July 10.

North Kansas City’s Council also approved theirs. Kearney’s City Council will discuss the issue July 6. Applications will follow the same basic format although each community is free to adjust for their individual needs.

The grant program will issue up to $100,000 in funds to small businesses in each community. Small businesses can apply for the grants, which are funded by the CARES Act Stimulus Fund, of up to $5,000, to reimburse business expenses related to COVID-19. The funds may not be used to repay federal or state loan programs related to COVID-19 relief funding or any purposes outside of the federal guidelines.

The funds may be used for expenses incurred from the beginning of March through June 2020. Eligible expenses include areas such as payroll, rent, mortgage interest, utilities, inventory replacement and COVID-19 supplies. Funds may also be used to purchase necessary protective equipment for employees and customers and for exterior or interior cleaning needed to keep facilities sanitized.

Eligible businesses are those located within the city and have a valid 2019 business license. The focus is on those directly impacted by stay-at-home orders such as retail, food service, arts and entertainment, hospitality, fitness, medical and personal services; and businesses or individuals whose primary revenue is generated from rental properties. Businesses that do not qualify include national franchises, non-profit organizations and those with current liens by the city or fees owed to the city of Smithville, per the press release.

Additional information is available from the EDC at (816) 468-4989 or from each participating city.