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Kansas Governor announces HIRE fund to assist hospitality business owners

Compiled by NetWork Kansas

HIRE Fund_Graphic3

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

·      Event centers

Other hospitality businesses will be considered and may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Use of funds
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

·      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

·      $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

·      Must have fewer than 100 employees

·      Must have no outstanding state tax obligations

·      Be willing to submit a personal guaranty of repayment from the owners of the business

Application process
·      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 Download the HIRE Fund_One Pager_English (PDF)


About NetWork Kansas

NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by more than 500 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education, and economic resources they need in order to succeed. 

NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more. 

For more information about NetWork Kansas, visit  www.networkkansas.com, or call 877.521.8600.