WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Businesses ordered to close or had to restrict operations during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive funding.
The state allocated $50 million, and each business can earn up to $5,000 per business. It was tucked into the state budget that was passed.
A Wichita business owner was a big advocate for it.
Ryan Floyd, the owner of Fit Body Boot Camp and Omega Bootcamps Inc., said it took too long to get funding for these businesses.
“We’re a year and a half into this process. A lot of businesses aren’t even here to benefit from it anymore because they’ve shut down.”
He said at least it’s a step in the right direction.
“I was shouting from the rooftops yesterday because it was you know, it’s something, and it’s a step in the right direction,” said Floyd.
Floyd filed a lawsuit in 2020 after the government shut his business down.
The lawsuit questioned a Kansas Emergency Management Act statute that mentions compensation for those who help during an emergency declaration.
Floyd put that lawsuit against the state on hold to work with the legislature to get help for businesses in Kansas.
In 2021, the legislature passed a bill approving $500 million to go towards small businesses, but the governor later vetoed it.
Since it was vetoed, Floyd and his attorney, Ryan Kriegshauser, continued the battle with the state.
“The state filed a motion to dismiss. We argued that late last year, and we’re waiting for a decision from the court on whether or not the lawsuit can move forward,” said Kriegshauser.
Kriegshauser said there still needs to be clarity in the Kansas Emergency Management Act.
“We still have the question of what does the KEMA compensation statute mean?” asked Ryan Kriegshauser. “Until we get some clarity to what the law is, we have to continue with the lawsuit.”
Floyd and his attorney said the concern is how broad the state budget is on the requirements needed to receive funds.
“There’s a lot of ambiguity in the budget proviso,” said Kriegshauser. “Basically, what this is, is a $50 million budget proviso to the governor’s office, and there’s a lot of questions that the governor’s office is going to have to sort out like if it references retail sales.”
KSN reached out to the governor’s office for details on how businesses can apply. We will have updates once we receive a response.
“The next steps are people need to reach out to the governor’s office and apply pressure to say hey, what are the details? How do we apply for this funding? And it’s really going to be with the governor’s office to get that money distributed,’” said Kriegshauser.