Economic relief for employers


As a member of the House Small Business Committee, I’m doing everything I can to connect local businesses with every resource that I can to save jobs and so our economy can overcome this crisis.

Please use the menu below to find resources to help you and your business. You can also explore our main menu page to quickly find additional public health and economic relief resources.


 

Help for small businesses:

As a member of the Small Business Committee, I’m working to ensure Kansas small businesses can get the relief they need in this crisis. That’s why I voted to create the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to save jobs, and have worked to ensure PPP has the transparency it needs to help small businesses – not large corporations. I also introduced the SUPPLIES Act to help small businesses manufacture personal protective equipment and testing supplies.

If you’re a small business owner who needs help, please explore the resources below for assistance.

 
Get started and explore help: Are you a small business owner who needs help but don’t know where to start? Feel free to browse through these federal, state, and local resources for assistance.
 
Explore relief options offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA): The primary federal agency dedicated to helping small businesses. The SBA has been authorized by Congress to provide emergency relief in this crisis. This website can help you understand your options.
 
Official Federal Coronavirus Relief Portal for Small Businesses: This website can connect you with SBA resources and other help throughout the federal government – everything from contracting to cybersecurity assistance.
 
Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College (JCCC): Supported by funding from the SBA, Small Business Development Centers, or SBDCs, provide help to small businesses at the local level. They provide technical information, workshops, and can help answer questions. They’re here to help local businesses during this difficult time.
 
Kansas Office of Recovery - Business: A relief website and office administered by the Governor. Learn more about workplace safety, guidelines for essential workers, industry guidance, and possibly other relief programs.
 
Kansas Department of Commerce: Our state’s leading economic development agency is here to help Kansas however it can. Among many initiatives, you may be interested to know about the following: 
 
 
 
 


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The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): This is a newer federal initiative created by the bipartisan CARES Act, which I supported.

Here is what you need to know:

  • PPP provides loans to help small businesses stay afloat and keep their workers employed during this crisis. The loans are offered at a low interest rate and may also be forgiven.
     
  • Though PPP stopped accepting new applications last year, I’m pleased to share that both parties came together to pass a new bipartisan relief bill in December 2020 that included more resources for PPP. The Small Business Administration (SBA) said that it began reopening PPP in phases during the week of January 11th, 2020.
     
  • The latest relief bill made various changes and improvements to PPP. Here are some of those changes, as according to the SBA:
     
    • Borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs.
       
    • Loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures.
       
    • Eligibility expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, among other types of organizations.
       
    • Please click here to learn more.

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Apply as a first time PPP borrower (First Draw): If you operate a small business and didn’t receive a PPP loan in 2020 but now need help, you can now apply to receive help. New loans now may be made available until March 31st, 2021, but please apply as soon as you possibly can.

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Apply for a second PPP Loan (Second Draw): If you received a PPP in 2020 but still need more assistance, you can now apply for another PPP loan. Second draw applicants also have until March 31st to apply, but please apply as soon as you’re able to.

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Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): An EIDL can offer long-term, low interest help for small businesses, nonprofit organizations, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. I was glad to vote for bipartisan relief legislation to provide more resources for EIDL and extend the application deadline until December 31st, 2021.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • An EIDL can be used to cover payroll, inventory, debt, and other expenses like rent and utilities.
     
  • Qualifying small businesses and other entities can use EIDL to help stay afloat during this health and economic emergency. They may be able to help cover costs that may not already be covered by a separate PPP loan.
     
  • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
     
  • SBA offers loans may be repaid for up to a maximum of 30 years.  The first payment is deferred for one year.
     
  • Small businesses, nonprofits, and others may now be able to apply for EIDL relief until December 31st, 2021. However, please apply as soon as you’re able. Applications are approved pending on the availability of funds.
     
  • Please click here to learn more about EIDL.
     
  • Please click here to apply for an EIDL now.

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EIDL Advance: Additionally, EIDL Advance may also be able to provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to eligible businesses. These emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

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Additional SBA Relief: Here are other programs and relief resources you can consider.

  • SBA Express Bridge Loan: If you’re struggling and need immediate assistance, this program can help you access up to $25,000 in relief quickly if you already have a relationship with an SBA lender. This assistance can help keep you afloat until you complete applications for other assistance, such as an EIDL.
     
  • Shuttered Venture Grant: This is a new grant that is part of the new coronavirus relief law that I supported and was enacted in December 2020. It will provide relief to live venues that have seen their businesses harmed from the pandemic including museums and theatrical performances. The SBA is currently setting up the program and is not accepting applicants, but you can click to learn more about it.
     
  • SBA Debt Relief Options: You may also be eligible for debt relief under SBA programs. For instance, if you already have a 7a loan, the SBA may pay up to 6 months of principal and interest payments.

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Contacts: I’ve heard from small business owners who have had difficulty navigating available assistance programs and don’t know where to turn to get the help they need. Our team is here to connect you with all the help we can.

Please explore the following resources to see if you can find the assistance you need:

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Get updates

Finally, if you’re a small business owner who may need this assistance or other emergency help, please fill out the form below. We’ll add you to our email list and alert you when the aid becomes available and connect you with any other resources that we can.

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Help for non-profit organizations

Non-profit groups provide crucial community assistance and like so many organizations, they need support more than ever now. If you run a non-profit, here are some resources that may be available to you.

  • Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance
     
    • I’ve been glad to support emergency legislation to make billions more available to help small businesses at this time. These loans are also available to private non-profits, startups, cooperatives, and the self-employed.
       
  • Investment Connection: Kansas City Federal Reserve
     
    • The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City announced a special launch of its signature community development program Investment Connection, with a focus on connecting nonprofits affected by COVID-19 to funders.

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Workplace safety with COVID-19

The CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) have resources on how both employers and employees can ensure their workplaces are safe as possible during this health crisis.

First, businesses should make accommodations to ensure safety. That includes, but may not be limited to:

There are also resources available to help businesses institute safety standards to ensure safer workplaces. Employees may also have resources if they believe they have to work in unsafe conditions.

  • KDOL Industrial Health and Safety Office: May be able to provide local businesses with free health and safety consultations so employers can make sure that they are operating as safely as they can. It’s a confidential process that can involve a walk-through, follow-up questions, and virtual assistance. You may also call them at (785) 296-4386.
     
  • OSHA: produced a variety of detailed recommendations, developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, which businesses in a variety of industries can refer to in order to operate more safely. That includes businesses in retail, construction, dentistry, in-home repair, and more. You can also call them at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
     
  • CDC: The CDC as well has detailed information on how businesses and workplaces can operate more safely.
     
  • Protections for workers: Likewise, no one should have to choose between their health and collecting a paycheck. As an employee, you also have the right to file a whistleblower complaint if you feel you are being retaliated against for expressing concerns about your health and safety in your work environment. You can get in contact with the Kansas OSHA office if you have any questions at (316) 269-6644.

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Avoid layoffs with shared work

Many businesses are facing steep challenges with this public health emergency and may be considering layoffs. The Shared Work program may be an alternative.

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Help your employees with spreadsheet filing for unemployment insurance

Businesses who find no other option but to temporarily lay off employees due to COVID-19 can help their workers with filing for unemployment.

  • This process allows the employer to submit the application for unemployment insurance benefits for employees who are impacted. 
     
  • Employers who utilize this option will have the ability to communicate directly with the Employer Relations Administrator instead of waiting to speak with a representative at the Unemployment Contact Center.
     
  • Additionally, instead of receiving an Employer Notice for each employee that files for unemployment insurance benefits, the employer will receive one listing of all claims filed off the spreadsheet. 
     
  • To learn more, contact:
     

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