Hillsboro, Marion to seek COVID-19 grants
Both Marion and Hillsboro are poised to apply for funding through Kansas Department of Commerce’s COVID-19 response grants.
Two categories of funding are available — economic development and meal program assistance.
Hillsboro city administrator Larry Paine said Hillsboro only qualifies for an economic development grant because its average household income is too high for the city to qualify for meal assistance.
Economic development grants of up to $300,000 for a city will be awarded. Statewide, $9 million is available.
Awards 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 $35,000 for each full-time employee for businesses with six to 50 employees, with a maximum of $50,000 per company.
The city of Marion will apply for both grants. City council members will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday to pass a resolution to apply.
Since Marion qualifies as a city with low-to-moderate income levels, it can apply for a meal program grant as well as an economic development grant.
CDBG-CV meal program grants can be used to supplement organizations such as Meals on Wheels, local food banks, or organizations that provide meals for children affected by loss of school meal programs, in order to provide access to nutritious foods during the COVID-19 crisis.
City economic development director Randy Collett spent Tuesday visiting small businesses to find out how much money would help them.
“We believe it’s very important to help our businesses,” city administrator Roger Holter said.
The city also believes in the importance of supporting the Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank, he said.
Demand at the food bank has increased more than 30% since the outbreak of COVID-19 mandated statewide shutdowns, Holter said.