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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Nearly 2,000 Small Businesses Recipients of $37.5 Million in Grants

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Governor Laura Kelly today announced that nearly 2,000 Kansas small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a share of $37.5 million in Small Business Working Capital (SBWC) grants.

“Throughout the pandemic, my administration has prioritized the efficient distribution of CARES Act funding to protect Kansas’ economy and ensure our businesses and schools can stay open,” Governor Kelly said. “While I’m proud to announce that we have been able to provide relief to almost 2,000 small businesses, there are many more that still need help. Washington has been sitting on a second stimulus bill for months, it’s time to put aside the partisanship and pass this long-overdue aid for the states.”

Kansas businesses with fewer than 500 employees were eligible to apply for SBWC grant funding, made available by Governor Kelly’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce through the federal CARES Act.

Grant funds can be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, insurance, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, inventory, and more.

“Through the CARES Act funding, we’ve enhanced our public health response, upgraded our technology infrastructure, made sure children could keep learning, helped businesses stay open and created jobs,” Julie Lorenz, Executive Director of the Office of Recovery, said. “There are still many unmet needs and with additional federal funding and flexibility, we could deliver more investments to serve Kansans and industries that continue to suffer from the pandemic.”

The SPARK Taskforce and the Kansas Department of Commerce will maintain the Small Business Working Capital grant program, as well as PPE Procurement and Connectivity Emergency Response Grant programs, should more federal CARES Act funding become available.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Kansas economy, and they keep our communities strong and vibrant,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “We’re glad to have been able to provide critically-needed working capital to nearly 2,000 businesses, but the need for liquidity doesn’t end there. We need to have their backs. The Department of Commerce will always stand ready to assist businesses across Kansas, pandemic or not.”

The online application process for several other SPARK grant programs remain active. Details are available at www.kansascommerce.gov/covidrelief.

View all SBWC grant recipients here.

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