• Last modified 719 days ago (May 28, 2020)


Municipalities seek business grants

Hillsboro, county approve applications

Staff writer

Hillsboro City Council and Marion County both approved applications Tuesday for grants to help small businesses.

Community development COVID-19 grants are for businesses considered “nonessential” that had to close during earlier shutdown orders.

The money can be used to purchase inventory needed to restart, replace consumable inventory that perished, or recapture the cost of utilities paid while the business was not in operation.

Grants will be up to $25,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees, with a maximum of $30,000 for a company; and up to $30,000 for each full-time employee for businesses with six to 50 employees, with a maximum of $50,000 per company.

Hillsboro economic development director Anthony Roy said the income limit for a business to qualify was tied to the household incomes of its employees, not to what employees are paid by the business.

“It’s not the job wage itself that qualifies; it’s the household income,” Roy said. “That may mean that some of these businesses don’t qualify. We’ll just have to look at it and see.”

Roy said Hillsboro would apply for the maximum $300,000 grant the city could get, then qualify local businesses. Once businesses are qualified, the city will begin receiving the money in about 14 days.

Roy said the Hillsboro businesses he had talked to are asking for $10,000 to $15,000 each, so about half of the maximum available grant is already requested.

County commissioners appointed South Central Kansas Economic Development District to apply for the grant and administer it on the county’s behalf.

Two categories of funding are available through the grant — economic development and meal program assistance. The city of Hillsboro qualifies only for an economic development grant because its average household income is too high to qualify for meal assistance.

Last modified May 28, 2020