Inman holding hearing for federal grant to assist local businesses

By Randy Fogg

NEWS-LEDGER

INMAN—The Inman City Council will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m., on Monday, June 1, at the Inman Community Building to determine community interest in applying for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I know there are some businesses in Inman that need some help,” Inman Councilman Don Froese said. “It would be good for them to come to the public hearing so they can see what we are doing. We need people to show up.”

The economic development grant is through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The city applies for the federal funds from the Kansas State Department of Commerce.

Inman City Clerk Barb Tuxhorn explained the city would not benefit from the grant. The city would be vetting and paying eligible businesses.

Froese said the grant would not only help businesses but would also benefit its employees as well.

“It will be a good thing, I think,” Froese said.

Tuxhorn explained the grants would be given to businesses located within the Inman city limits. The recipient business must be a for-profit business and retaining jobs for low- to moderate-income (LMI) people. A total of 51 percent or more of the full-time jobs retained at the business must be for persons from LMI households as defined by the federal government.

The grants could be used to pay for working capital, including wages, utilities and rent and as well as for the purchase of 60 days’ worth of inventory needed to reopen the business.

For McPherson County, the median income is $72,900. For one person, one-half of the median income would be $25,550 and a two-person family would be $29,200. A family of four would need an income of $36,450 to meet the guidelines.

“We are trying to get information out for people to see,” Tuxhorn said.

Tuxhorn noted council members, city employees and their families cannot apply for the grant.

While Inman will apply for the maximum of $300,000, Tuxhorn said the grants were first come, first served until all funds are disbursed.

“That’s one of the unknowns,” Froese said. “We don’t know how much money we’ll actually get.

“We need the people to show up who actually need help,” he added.

Tuxhorn stressed the public was welcome to attend the hearing, and they can ask questions about the program.

If the council goes ahead and approves a resolution to apply for a grant, the city will need to hire a grant administrator, Tuxhorn said.

She noted the city had sent out five requests for proposals from five certified grant administrators to run the program for Inman.

With the program, Inman could award grants up to a maximum of $30,000 for businesses with one to five employees and $50,000 for businesses with six to 50 employees.