TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas can’t help at least half of the struggling small businesses seeking relief because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Monday, calling for additional federal aid as the state reported another record for new coronavirus cases.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and state Commerce Secretary David Toland announced that nearly 2,000 small businesses, most with 10 or fewer employees, had received grants financed with federal funds to help them cover operating costs. Kelly’s office said the grants totaled $37.5 million. Toland said the state hopes to distribute another $20 million to about 1,000 additional businesses by year’s end.
But Toland said about 6,000 businesses applied for grants, meaning at least half won’t get funds unless Congress approves another coronavirus relief package. Kelly called for more federal aid only hours after state Department of Health and Environment data showed Kansas averaging a record 2,741 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases a day for the seven days ending Monday, or 7.4% higher than the previous high of 2,553 cases per day for the seven days ending Friday.