The Kansas Department of Commerce is giving small businesses another funding opportunity to help offset revenue shortfalls triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than $130 million in relief funding is being made available through the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) program.

SPARK provides small businesses and nonprofit organizations a way to apply for funding in 11 categories if they have incurred a revenue loss of more than 25 percent since the start of the pandemic.

The Department of Commerce identified those classifications as:

  1. Small Business Working Capital Grant.
  2. Securing Local Food Systems Grant.
  3. PPE Procurement Grant.
  4. Connectivity Emergency Response Grant.
  5. Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant.
  6. PPE Manufacturing Grant.
  7. COVID-19 Bioscience Product Development Acceleration Grant.
  8. Domestic Supply Chain Fortification Grant.
  9. Higher Education Advanced Manufacturing & IT Equipment Grant.
  10. IT, Cybersecurity & IT Project Management Grant.
  11. University SARS-CoV-2/COVID Research and Diagnostic Capacity Support Grant.

Businesses are allowed to apply for grants in multiple categories if they meet basic eligibility requirements, according to the Commerce Department’s frequently asked questions page.

The Commerce Department hasn’t said whether the amount of funding a business can receive will be capped.

However, SPARK grants are being made available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees that have received less than $350,000 in prior local, state and/or federal funding through other COVID-19 aid packages, such as the popular Paycheck Protection Program that ended on August 8, 2020.

The Commerce Department says businesses that have received more than $350,000 in local, state and/or federal funding are not eligible to receive SPARK funding unless otherwise approved through an appeals process.

SPARK grants must be spent by December 30, 2020.

Money for the grants is part of the funding allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which was adopted March 27, 2020.

 

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