Small businesses waiting for stimulus money grants of $5,000 in Sedgwick County

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There is a $5,000 federal stimulus grant for businesses in Sedgwick County for those that apply and meet the guidelines.

Some who feel they meet the guidelines and have applied are saying it’s time to show them the money.

“It’s a little frustrating because when I put in the application I didn’t know if they received it,” said Rodney Horton, who owns Cana Wine & Cocktails in the Petroleum building. “There’s not a good follow up or a feedback loop, even if it’s automated.”

Horton says he serves up craft cocktails at his business, but he also closed for a time because of COVID restrictions.

After making phone calls to the county, Horton says it was then that he got a call back to say his application needed a couple of changes.

“And that’s fine. Happy to do that,” said Horton. “Just need to move this along if we can, there are others in far worse shape than me.”

Sedgwick County deputy financial officer Brent Shelton says the money will be on the way soon, but he says they have to get it right.

“We are in the final review process with some of these applications,” said Shelton. “It’s dealing with the federal guidelines that have constantly changed as we have gone through the process. Trying to walk that line between getting the money out to the community as quickly as we can, and do it making sure we follow all the right rules, regulations.”

Shelton says the Feds will come in an audit the monies released, and if the county gives out stimulus to someone not eligible, then, the county will have to pay up.

But, Shelton says they are getting close to approval with many of the more than 140 applications for business stimulus $5,000 grants. The money is a federal stimulus to help businesses specifically in Sedgwick County that have been hit by COVID-19.

The application portal to apply has been open since roughly the middle of August. The application portal is still open and the deadline to apply is October 7th for that small business grant.

“We are processing them as we speak and a number of them are in the final review stage,” says Shelton. “The next step that businesses will hear from us will be an email with an attachment that is a grant agreement that can be electronically signed and return to us. And that will trigger the release of funds.”

Horton says he hopes the funds are on the way soon if he is approved, but he wants businesses to hang in there.

“And I know a lot of these people (county) are building the boat as they sail it and I get it. I worked at the county. I understand how rules can change at the last minute… just anything that the government touches,” said Horton. “But I’m big on Wichita. I like super hyper-local focus. Local business owners create jobs and that brings in taxes.”

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