Here’s how Overland Park small businesses can find out more about getting pandemic relief funds

The city of Overland Park and the Kansas City-based Community Capital Fund are launching a program this spring to help Overland Park's small businesses still struggling with the effects of the pandemic. Several upcoming sessions are aimed at giving business owners more information. File image

Overland Park is taking steps to help the city’s small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic comes up on two years. 

The city announced this month that the first phase of the Overland Park Small Business Rescue Program will begin this spring.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic created unexpected economic difficulties for businesses in our community, particularly small businesses and businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry,” Strategic Planning Manager Erin Ollig said in a press release. “This infusion of funds provides an opportunity for the city to directly support eligible businesses that need more help.” 

Here are some key details about the city’s Small Business Rescue Program: 

Who qualifies?

  • Qualified businesses include Overland Park businesses in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries, according to the city. 
  • The small business grant is intended to help industries that have been especially challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Where is funding coming from? 

  • Funding for the grants will be administered by the Community Capital Fund, or CCF, which serves underinvested neighborhoods across the Kansas City metro.
  • This small business program will be using funds that come from the American Rescue Plan Act, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden last year.
  • The city of Overland Park says it intends to spend $3 million in ARPA funds for small businesses that qualify. 

What happens next? 

  • City officials say they want to spend the next few weeks in an “engagement phase,” hearing from local businesses and stakeholders about what their needs are, nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic first upended the local economy.
  • CCF will hold in-person and virtual public meetings over the next week to gather feedback from businesses in the community on how the money should be spent.
  • The organization says it will also seek input from the community through surveys online and by phone.

How can businesses find out if they qualify? 

  • The city asks that interested business owners register for one of CCF’s upcoming engagement events here.
  • Engagement sessions start on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
  • Future sessions over the next week are planned for:
    • Thursday, Jan. 27, from 6-7 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell Ave.
    • Friday, Jan. 28, from 1:30-2:45 p.m. via Zoom – Link will be shared the day of the event
    • Monday, Jan. 31, from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Blue Valley Library, 9000 West 151st St.