A Southeast Kansas economic development organization received $572,000 in federal money to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Commerce funded three such agencies in Kansas, providing about $3 million in CARES Act recovery assistance grants. The awards were announced Wednesday. 

The grants will help three revolving loan funds that will provide gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs across Kansas impacted by COVID-19.

The EDA grants made to Kansas: 

— South Central Kansas Economic Development District Inc., Wichita, will receive a $1.9 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide gap financing to small business owners by capitalizing and administering a RLF to service coronavirus impacted businesses in Butler, Chautauqua, Cowley, Elk, Harper, Harvey, Greenwood, Kingman, Marion, McPherson, Rice, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.

— Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission, Chanute, will receive a $572,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to expand the body of work and financing the businesses of the Southeast Kansas region to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by capitalizing and administering a RLF to service impacted businesses in Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties.

— Northwest Kansas Regional Planning Commission, Hill City, will receive a $500,000 revolving loan fund to lend to borrowers in Cheyenne, Decatur, Rawlins, Norton, Phillips, Smith, Osborne, Rooks, Graham, Sheridan, Thomas, Sherman, Wallace, Logan, Gove, Trego, Ellis and Russell counties.

The regional planning committee hasn’t met to discuss how the money will be distributed, according to Lonie Addis, a Labette County commissioner and the county’s representative on the committee. The committee’s next meeting is set for Aug. 6. Addis didn’t know if a special meeting will be called because of the grant.

Matthew Godinez, executive director of the committee, wrote in an email to committee members that $520,000 will capitalize the revolving loan fund and $52,000 will be used to defray the cost of administering the fund.

The EDA investment will alleviate sudden and severe economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, provide permanent resources to support economic resiliency and further the long-term economic adjustment objectives of the region served by this EDA investment, according to Godinez.

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