As applications pour in, PROPEL Program aims to help minority businesses

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The application process continues for Wichita District 1’s PROPEL program, a low-interest, short-term microloan program for minority and women-owned businesses i Wichita’s District 1.

Currently, the program is using leftover funds from district one’s proceeds they received when the city-owned Hyatt hotel sold. But, city council member Brandon Johnson hopes this program can grow rapidly in the next couple of years.

One business owner, Hannah Thompson, hopes it can help her get her photography business off the ground.

“My goal is to have this up and running like next month,” Thompson explained. “We definitely can do it, just if we had a little help.”

For that help, she applied for the PROPEL microloan program.

Christina Long, the owner of CML Collective and one of the people spearheading this program, explains what makes Thompson’s and other’s businesses different.

“These are businesses that traditionally do not receive any kind of funding consideration,” said Thompson. “So when we’re able to add another tool in the toolbox for entrepreneurs, it’s always a good thing.”

Councilman Johnson says starting off the program only has $88,000 from the Hyatt Hotel sale to help District one businesses. He hopes to grow that amount in the coming years.

“I wouldn’t be surprised very soon that that fund, all of the applications, have basically taken up that money,” said Johnson. “So my hope is that we can expand that to over $1-million in the next year or two.”

Applications are still being accepted for the program. If your business is in District One and you would like to apply, click here.

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