Kansas City approves $5.5M aid fund for small businesses under stress from the pandemic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Relief for small businesses in Kansas City is coming after the mayor unveiled some details on a recently approved aid fund. 

There’s now $5.5 million in loans up for grabs for KC businesses in need. Each business could get anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 if approved.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said he understands the stress business owners are going through, and help is on the way.

“We recognize that the crisis will not only impact them now, next month, but perhaps there are some businesses that may not have the chance to open again if they can’t get good cash flow,” Lucas said.

Last week, the city approved a $500,000 loan fund along with the city’s budget. Now, the city is working with AltCap, a local financial organization that focuses on community development. President Ruben Alsonso said they are bringing funders together to add $5 million to the fund.

“We immediately looked to find partners to put together an effort to support these small businesses, which are so critical to our local economy,” Alsonso said.

In order to qualify, a company must not have made more than $750,000 in the last financial year or have more than 20 employees. The fund will be focused to help small businesses with an emphasis on those owned by minorities. 

Yogurtini franchise owner Isaac Collins said he’s grateful for the opportunity. He owns both the Plaza and Shoal Creek locations. He said they gross around $500,000 per year and employ fewer than 20 employees.

While his stores could technically operate as an essential business, Collins said he decided to close shortly after the “stay-at-home” order for his employees safety.

“When I heard about this, it’s something I wanted to look into. As I looked into it more, I saw that it could really really help us with the amount of money for zero-to-no interest for the first year,” Collins said.

Yogurtini closed right as their busy season would have just started rolling. Collins said being able to fill the gap caused by the pandemic would keep his business afloat and his full-time workers employed.

“For them to take the initiative to find this money from local funders, to be able to help and support small businesses, I think that’s huge. I think that says a lot about our local government, our mayor, and about these private companies that are really coming together to help Kansas City small business,” he said.

Alonso with AltCap said, once the loan is approved, their goal is to get money to business owners between two to three days.

If you own a small business in Kansas City, Missouri and would like to apply for a loan, you can find more information through the city’s website, and AltCap. You can also call 311, and they can direct you where to apply.

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