The city of Abilene is one of 66 Kansas communities to receive a grant to help small businesses.

Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Commerce announced Abilene as the recipient of $132,000 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement (CDBG-CV).

“The goal of our grant is to assist small and owner operated businesses with preference to those who cannot or have not accessed other sources of assistance, “said Jane Foltz, Abilene city manager. “While some businesses are fortunate to benefit from other loan programs, many small and owner-operated businesses – particularly in our historic downtown district – have not.”

Abilene is one of only 66 communities to receive the award of nearly $9 million in funding. City staff will now work with state staff to determine reporting criteria and create the application and review process. Businesses will then have the opportunity to apply for grants. 

“The Kansas Department of Commerce acted very quickly to get these funds to communities in need, our job is also to move quickly by developing an application and process to assist Abilene’s small businesses,” said Julie Roller Weeks, Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau director. “We are really excited to have this opportunity!”


106 applications

To date, the Department of Commerce has received 106 award applications totaling more than $32 million. Applications were processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

“Kansans have faced unprecedented challenges during the past few months due to COVID-19,” Governor Kelly said. “Our communities need relief – and they need it now. I’m pleased to announce additional resources to help Kansans navigate through the recovery process. These grants will help our communities rebuild their economies and support Kansas families.”

Grants were available in two categories – Economic Development and Meal Programs. 

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. 

Meal Program grants can be directed toward organizations such as Meals on Wheels, local food banks or to support organizations providing meals for children affected by the loss of school meal programs.

“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.”








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