Business Buzz

Chad Frey
The Kansan

City moves forward with grant application

During a special meeting May 19 the Newton City Commission passed a a resolution to apply for the 2021 Kansas Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program from the Department of Commerce.

"It’s the third round of COVID-relief funds for small businesses," said Erin McDaniel, director of public information for the city of Newton. "The City is applying to the Kansas Dept. of Commerce for $150,000 that will then be given out to local businesses that suffered losses during the pandemic."

Funds will be awarded to cities and counties on approximately July 1.

To be eligible to receive a CDBG-CV3 Economic Development grant, the recipient business must be a for-profit business and retaining jobs for low to moderate-income people. 51% or more of the full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs retained must be for persons from low to moderate-income households as defined by HUD.

Report: Kansas could add jobs with Medicaid expansion

Kansas could add nearly 23,000 new jobs if the state expanded Medicaid, according to a new report on the economic and employment effects of expansion in states that have not adopted it.

While most of the new jobs would go to the health care sector, expansion would also create positions in retail, construction and other fields.

Those are some of the findings of the report, released Thursday from The Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. (The Commonwealth Fund is a foundation that aims to support the health care system and improve access.)

“Medicaid expansion will fuel stronger state economies because of the inflow of federal funding,” the report’s authors wrote. “These benefits do not include other possible effects, such as greater productivity because of better health.”

Overall, the report estimated 11,900 new jobs in health care, 2,400 in retail, 1,600 in construction, 700 jobs in finance and insurance and another 6,300 new jobs in other sectors across Kansas.

Generally, the job creation would stem from the additional federal money flowing into states to fuel growth, according to the report.

The increased funding would go to health care providers and get passed on in the form of worker pay and vendor purchases. That could translate into consumer spending and eventually, state and local tax revenue.

To conduct the study, researchers looked at estimates of how many people would enroll in Medicaid if state governments expanded the programs. Taking into account new federal money and other budgetary changes, they used an economic model to estimate how the added funding would impact state economies and job growth in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SBA announces webinar series

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the non-profit Public Private Strategies Institute will launch a new regional webinar series, “Getting Back on Track: Help is Here,” to provide Main Street entrepreneurs with the information and resources they need to continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The educational webinars will feature speakers from The White House, the SBA, Members of Congress, and small business leaders, and will provide updates on the American Rescue Plan.

“The 'Getting Back on Track: Help is Here' webinar series is an important outreach effort to help small businesses recover, rebuild and gain resiliency,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “Small businesses are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as marketplaces and main streets reopen thanks to strong vaccination rates.  We are empowering small businesses to reopen fully and safely by connecting them with helpful resources and tools, including the Biden-Administration's tax credits that cover paid time-off for employees getting vaccinated. We all must double down on our efforts to help our beloved small businesses survive and get our economy back on track.”

“This webinar series is designed to reach the hardest-hit small business owners across the country with regionally focused conversations connecting them to local resources and to give them the steps they need to build back better,” said Rhett Buttle, Public Private Strategies Institute senior advisor. “The program will focus on three key areas:  economic recovery and access to capital options, digital tools, and resources to allow small business owners to be vaccine leaders with their employees and communities.”

The new series builds on a successful national webinar series hosted by the SBA and Public Private Strategies Institute, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s action to create additional access to the Paycheck Protection Program for America’s smallest businesses. That webinar series provided resources and information to more than 80,000 small business owners across the country.

To join one of the regional webinars in this series and learn more about programs that will help  small businesses get back on track, register at Getting Back on Track: Help is Here!

A specific webinar for the Region 7 (Great Plains) states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa is scheduled at 1  p.m. July 15. It has a separate registration link listed on the registration page at Getting Back on Track: Help is Here!