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Miami County and the cities of Louisburg and Osawatomie are gathering information from local businesses to put together applications for federal funding being made available through the state’s Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) program.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced May 11 that more than $9 million in federal funding is being made available in CDBG grants to support community responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

Applications for the grants are to be submitted by counties or cities on behalf of their local businesses.

The Miami County Economic Development Department is gathering information to submit an application on behalf of businesses located outside of any city limits but within Miami County, as well as businesses within the cities of Paola, Fontana, and the Miami County portion of Spring Hill. The survey is available at https://forms.gle/w2dt7zyp2AE9cu2m9

Firms with more than 50 employees are not eligible for the program.

The cities of Louisburg and Osawatomie also are planning to apply for the grants on behalf of their business communities. Those communities’ surveys can be found at the following links:

City of Louisburg survey: https://louisburgkansas.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=243

City of Osawatomie survey: https://forms.gle/UE2jbCMV98UFTejc7

Miami County Economic Development Director Janet McRae said in a post on the department’s Facebook page the money will be allocated quickly on a first-come, first-served basis. The county has hired a grant writer to help make an application for the funds, according to the post.

McRae said because of the quick turnaround for this program, the county is requesting responses by noon, Monday, May 18. The survey should take less than five minutes to fill out.

Business owners who have already responded to similar surveys by the city of Louisburg or the city of Osawatomie do not need to respond again, McRae said.

“If your business is located within those two communities, you should respond directly to them,” McRae said.

McRae stressed there is no guarantee the county or the cities of Osawatomie and Louisburg will receive the funding. If one or both Louisburg and Osawatomie are awarded the CDBG grant, businesses in those communities will not be eligible to receive additional monies from the county if it is also awarded the grant.

However, McRae said if the county does receive the grant but the cities of Louisburg and Osawatomie do not, businesses in those communities may become eligible for the county’s grant funding.

This is the first action in a multiple-step process, she said.

“As part of the application process, we will be following up with you for additional information involving payroll, operations and residency of the impacted employees. (The percent of employees who reside in Miami County is part of the equation),” McRae said in the post. “You must be willing to provide that information to verify eligibility.”

The Kansas Department of Commerce will administer the funding program which is being called the Coronavirus Response Supplement (CDBG-CV). It is part of the state’s allocation from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a commerce department news release.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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