By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson City Council approved application for a CDBG-CV grant designed to help small businesses during a special meeting Tuesday morning.
"It is vitally important that we get this application submitted this week," said city planner Ryan Hvitlok. "We're working with SCKEDD, who is the one who has really been the expert on this and has worked all weekend, really on getting this application ready. If awarded, we anticipate a short 14 to 21 day city application window, because really we want to get these funds in the hands of these businesses."
If awarded, there will be a pool of $285,000 available to a combination of businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The city has applied for $300,000 in grant money. $15,000 of that will go to SCKEDD for administration, because the City does not have anyone trained to do the administration themselves, and the state hasn't offered a class that an employee could go to in a couple of years to do that. SCKEDD was the low bidder in a competitive bid process that closed last week.
"The Chamber did do a survey, they came up with about 30 total potential businesses that could take advantage of this," Hvitlok said. Nine of those are in the really small, the one to five employees, 21 would be in the six to 50 employees. That equates to about 398 low to medium income jobs, some real impact here in our community."
No city matching funds are required. Because of the amount of funds available the city plans to award grants of $10,000 to the businesses with five employees or under and $20,000 to those with six to 50 employees on a first come, first served basis until funds are exhausted. Those applications would go before a board first for approval before coming to the City Council.
"They will have to maintain some records and be open that, if the Department of Commerce decides that they want to do a visit and an audit, that paperwork we would need in hand," Hvitlok said. "That's what SCKEDD, if they are awarded, would help us with."
The City Council would then have final approval of the awardees at a future meeting.