By Jessie Wagoner
McPHERSON—McPherson was one of 66 Kansas counties and cities to receive Community Development Block Grants to support COVID-19 response. City Administrator Nick Gregory announced Monday that McPherson was awarded a total of $132,000 to help small businesses.
“The City of McPherson received word that they were selected to receive a 2020 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant, CDBG-CV grant, in the amount of $132,000.00 to assist McPherson businesses with eligible working capital costs associated with economic recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Gregory said. “The original application was for $300,000, but we are extremely grateful for the funds awarded to the city.”
A preliminary inquiry identified 22 local businesses in need of funds who were potentially eligible. The city will execute an agreement with the Kansas Department of Commerce to secure the grant and guarantee the proper disbursement of the funds. The commission did approve a contract with Ranson Financial Group, LLC to administer the grant for an amount not to exceed $7,500. The total amount available for distribution to businesses is $124,500.00.
“The city will work on a modified schedule to assure funds will have an optimal impact for the most amount of local businesses,” Gregory said. “Funds will likely not be available until mid-June. An application process will be developed that provides equal opportunity for all potentially eligible McPherson businesses to apply. This will be announced in the upcoming weeks.”
Grants were available in two categories: economic development and meal programs. McPherson was only eligible to apply for the economic development grant. Economic development grants provide communities with funding to help local businesses retain jobs for low-to-moderate-income people by covering working capital expenses such as inventory, wages and utilities.
“The COVID-19 crisis has left many communities searching for resources to support their residents and businesses,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The CDBG-CV award provides cities and counties the ability to determine where the greatest need in their community lies and to provide some relief as we move into the recovery phase of the crisis.”