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JEDO’s small business relief fund will soon be accepting applications. Here is who is eligible for up to $30K.



TOPEKA, Kan. – The Joint Economic Development Organization set aside $700,000 in December to help small businesses. Its small business task force has approved the application process that soon will allow most businesses in the county to apply for aid.

The application won’t be active on any one specific day but must be live by April 19.

“I wholeheartedly believe that we are going to make a difference in some local businesses,” said task force member and Shawnee County commissioner Aaron Mays.

Who is eligible for the grant?

This grant will be less stringent than Topeka’s small business relief fund, so much so that Corrie Wright, Topeka’s director of housing services, said the city might contact businesses rejected from Topeka’s program and encourage them to apply for the JEDO program.

Topeka’s relief fund was funded with the same money that federal relief programs had. JEDO’s program is funded locally and can have less strict requirements.

Businesses must be located in Shawnee County. Sole proprietors and businesses that employ between one and 25 “full-time equivalent” employees are eligible. A business must be for-profit and have been opened for at least 90 days.

Banks, e-commerce, national hotel chains and sexually oriented businesses can’t apply, among a list of other ineligible businesses. Franchises are ineligible unless all of its locations are owned and operated locally.

Businesses must also show the grant will keep them open and prove that income struggled due to the pandemic.

Mays said it can be as simple as saying your business was affected by government actions, like capacity restrictions or being forced to close.

How much money could one business get?

The money will be awarded in multiple phases with the first phase offering $250,000 total.

A sole proprietor or businesses with one “full-time equivalent” employee can receive up to $5,000. Businesses with between two and 10 “full-time equivalent” employees can receive up to $15,000. Businesses with 11-25 “full-time equivalent” employees can receive up to $30,000.

Each application will be reviewed by staff before being sent to a grant committee.