Business Buzz

The Kansan

Grant writing workshops available online for all Kansans 

MANHATTAN — K-State Research and Extension is launching an online version of the popular grant writing workshops it’s been conducting across the state for four years in communities large and small.  

“People are often surprised at the money available to pay for projects. Sometimes, the only thing standing in the way of accessing that money is a good grant proposal,” said Nancy Daniels, extension community vitality specialist and workshop presenter. “That playground renovation in your community very likely was funded by a grant. Grants also pay for such things as upgraded equipment for law enforcement, historic building renovations and a host of other projects.” 

“Like previous classes, the new online courses will be hosted by a local extension unit; unlike previous classes, if someone in Garden City or even Kansas City is interested in a class in Yates Center, they are welcome to (virtually) attend,” Daniels said.  

The cost to participate in the two-part course is $60. The training helps class members conquer grant writing fears and to begin writing, plus discover new sources of data to document their community needs. Class members will also learn new sources for grant funding and practice the steps to developing the problem, outcomes, activities, evaluation and budget.  

Daniels has a background in writing grant proposals for non-profit organizations prior to joining K-State Research and Extension. Since then, she’s traveled the state for the past four years, delivering the program in person to more than 1,700 participants in 60 communities. Follow up surveys taken after those workshops show that at least $24.8 million in successful grants have been written by those participants within a year of attending a workshop. 

More information and registration are available online under Grant Writing Workshops or by contacting Daniels at 785-410-6352 or nkdaniels@ksu.edu. 

SBA to provide one-year 8(a) Program extension to participants due to COVID-19

The U.S. Small Business Administration published an interim final rule effective January 13, 2021 allowing 8(a) Program participants to elect a one-year program extension in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program due to the challenges of COVID-19. 

Eligible 8(a) firms must meet the following qualifications:

Any firm that participated in the 8(a) Program between March 13, 2020, and Sept. 9, 2020, has the option to extend its program participation for one year from the end of its program term;

Firms that were terminated, early graduated, or voluntarily withdrew from the 8(a) Program during this period are not eligible for the extension; and

Firms admitted to the 8(a) Program on or after Sept. 10, 2020, are not eligible for the extension.

Automatic Extensions:

Firms participating in the 8(a) Program on Jan. 13, 2021, will receive an automatic one-year program extension unless they decline it in writing.

If an 8(a) firm previously elected to voluntarily suspend its program participation in connection with the nationwide coronavirus emergency disaster declaration, the length of the suspension will first be added to the firm’s program term, and the one-year extension will be added to the end of that extension.

Firms that elect to extend their participation in the program will not be subject to a higher non-8(a) business activity target (BAT) for the extension period. The same 50 percent  BAT that applies to the ninth program year will apply to the extended program term.

Firms that do not wish to receive the automatic program extension are required to submit a notice of decline in writing to:

SBA’s Associate Administrator, Office of Business Development, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, D.C., 20416 or email to 8aQuestions@sba.gov. 

Gov. Laura Kelly re-issues, signs executive orders to promote COVID-19 recovery

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly announced she has signed Executive Orders #21-01 and #21-02 as part of her administration’s commitment to protect Kansans and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate effective virus recovery efforts.

E.O. #21-01 allows Kansas employers to continue to withhold income taxes based on the state of the employee’s primary work location, and not based on the state in which the employee is temporarily teleworking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of our lives – including how and where we do our jobs,” Governor Kelly said. “This order helps ensure that tax season can go on without a hitch for Kansas businesses that have adjusted working schedules and employee work sites to keep people safe during the pandemic by allowing them to proceed with income tax withholdings as usual.” 

Several executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic were set to expire on Jan. 26 in conjunction the expiration of the state of disaster emergency. Because the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 14 to extend the state of disaster emergency until March 31, 2021, certain previous executive orders must also be extended. Under E.O. #21-02, the following executive orders already in place will be extended until rescinded or until the statewide state of disaster emergency expires, whichever is earlier:

20-37 – Allowing certain deferred tax deadlines and payments during state of disaster emergency

20-39 – Extending professional and occupational licenses during state of disaster emergency

20-40 – Temporarily allowing notaries and witnesses to act via audio-video communication technology during state of disaster emergency

20-43 – Temporary relief from certain restrictions concerning shared work programs during state of disaster emergency

20-56 – Amended Licensure, Certification, and Registration for persons and Licensure of “Adult Care Homes” during state of disaster emergency

20-61 – Temporarily prohibiting certain foreclosures and evictions

20-66 – Amended provisions related to drivers’ license and vehicle registration and regulation during state of disaster emergency

20-70 – Provisions related to drivers’ license and identification cards during the state of disaster emergency

“These Executive Orders allow Kansas to continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and assist our efforts to keep Kansans healthy, keep businesses open, and get our kids back to school as quickly as possible,” Kelly said.

Today’s actions also affect rules regarding unemployment benefits for Kansans. Executive Order 20-50, which had been in place since June 30, 2020, had suspended the requirement to continue searching for work in order to receive unemployment insurance benefits. That order expired yesterday and will not be extended. Executive Order 20-71, issued previously, waives the requirement that new unemployment claimants wait a week before receiving benefits and will continue in effect because the Legislature did not include a waiting week waiver in the pandemic legislation passed last week.