Kansas starts loan program to aid bars, restaurants, motels

Up to $5 million in loans will be made available, supplementing those made by the federal Small Business Administration.

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March 20, 2020 - 4:24 PM

Jessica Qualls disinfects a credit card before handing it back to the customer at Around The Corner, one of several provisions she is taking amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Richard Luken

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas on Friday launched a new program to provide short-term, no-interest loans to bars, restaurants, taverns and motels struggling to cover operating expenses because of the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic. 

David Toland, KS Secretary of Commerce

The program announced by Gov. Laura Kelly and state Commerce Secretary David Toland will make up to $5 million in loans, though Toland said the amount could grow larger. The program will supplement federal Small Business Administration loans that Kansas expects to become available within days.

Kelly had a Statehouse news conference with Toland, other state officials and representatives of business groups to acknowledge the economic problems caused by steps by the state and local communities to control the spread of the new coronavirus. Some communities, including Kansas City-area suburbs, Topeka, and Lawrence, have told businesses to stop allowing dine-in services.

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