Mayor Lucas announces details for Small Business Emergency Relief Fund
By Tyler Schneider
Mayor Quinton Lucas held a press conference at noon on April 1, but It was certainly no time for an April Fool’s joke. During the session, which last just over 20 minutes, Lucas gave updates on the status of city parks and recreational facilities in the wake of COVID-19 developments and also unveiled the new Kansas City Small Business Emergency Relief Fund.
“On the wishlist of what we continue to need in Kansas City are two very simple things: more testing and more personal protective equipment,” Lucas said.
One problem with the current amount of protective equipment available is that firefighters and other first responders have been temporarily instructed to reuse current equipment whenever possible. Lucas deemed the situation “unacceptable.”
Lucas went on to discuss the effort to help keep small businesses afloat as they remain closed due to coronavirus concerns.
“Perhaps there are some businesses that may not have the chance to open again if they
can’t get enough cash flow. That’s why we have acted with a level of swiftness that you rarely see in local, state or federal government in announcing a $500,000 relief fund,” Lucas said.
City council passed the fund on March 26 under the umbrella of the $1.7 billion 2020-
2021 budget. Eligible businesses will have a maximum of 20 employees and will have made $750,000 pr less over the last fiscal year.
Once they’ve applied, small business owners can receive up to $25,000 in relief loans, which will remain interest-free for six months to one year. To apply, contact the KC Source Link at 816-235-6500.
While KC parks will remain open, Lucas announced further efforts to curb those who have not adhered to recommended social distancing guidelines. These include taping up and/or blocking off access to playground equipment and shelters as well as increasing patrols to loosely enforce social distancing.
The KC Health Department has issued over 200 letters to businesses that have failed to follow guidelines as well. Lucas said that concerned citizens can report large public gatherings, house parties or non-essential businesses that have resisted the suggested closure period by calling 311 and asking to speak with a Community Interaction Officer.