Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2020 Contact: Vernon Hurd, Executive Director
HOSPITALITY BUSINESS OWNERS
Colby, Kansas -- Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has established the Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund to provide bridge loans for Kansas’ hospitality sector in response to the economic impact of COVID-19. The Kansas Department of Commerce and NetWork Kansas will administer the loan program.
A statement from the Governor's Office reads: "Governor Kelly is committed to providing support to our state’s small businesses, and she understands this pandemic is an especially serious challenge for the hospitality industry. In order to sustain operations for this sector, the administration has allocated $5 million for a round of bridge loans to hospitality businesses."
Through the HIRE fund, eligible businesses in Kansas will be able to apply for a one-time loan of up to $20 thousand at 0% interest for a period of 36 months. There will be no principal or interest payments for the first four months.
Examples of hospitality businesses include: restaurants, bars, lodging facilities (but not Airbnb), conference centers, and event centers. Other hospitality businesses will be considered and may be approved on a case-by-case basis.
These funds can be used as working capital for business expenses including, but not limited to: commercial loan payments, commercial lease payments, utility bills, payroll, accounts payable, and inventory.
Funds will be strategically distributed across the state to maximize relief for all hospitality sectors across Kansas and focus on the areas most affected.
Distribution will be allocated as follows: $2 million to businesses in the KC Metro area (Counties of Douglas, Johnson, Wyandotte and Shawnee), $1 million to businesses in Sedgwick County, and $2 million to businesses located in the rest of the state.
In order to be eligible, businesses must: be an existing for-profit business located in Kansas, registered as an LLC, sole proprietorship, S Corp, C Corp or limited partnership, they must have fewer than 100 employees, must have no outstanding state tax obligations, and must be willing to submit a personal guaranty of repayment from the owners of the business.
NetWork Kansas' Referral Center will process loan applications. Decisions on submitted applications will be made within 72 hours of application receipt, seven days a week. Funds will be transferred within 48 hours of approval.
For more information or to apply, please visit: www.kansascommerce.gov/hirefund or see the attached HIRE Fund document.
Thomas County Economic Development Alliance is available to assist in answering questions about the program and application process. Please call our office at 785-460-4511.