COVID-19 Response

This is uncharted territory for cities and regions across the world.

At the Greater Wichita Partnership, the health and safety of our workforce, businesses and industries is our top priority.

As the business impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic evolve, we want to be a source of information and resources for you and your business during this challenging time.

We are committed to working directly with the federal delegation, elected officials and community partners to identify what our community and business needs are, how we tackle those strategically and in a timely manner, and what resources are required to accomplish the identified support mechanisms.

Below are links to federal, state and local resources for you as you are navigating through this unprecedented moment. We will continue to update this page as new information, resources and news develops.

As of Monday, March 16, our team is currently working remotely. Each team member is available via phone, email and virtual/online meetings. Connect with our team.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently enacted into law. The Act allocates $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

Applications open April 3, 2020. These funds are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Business and non-profits throughout the entire country will be applying and funds are expected to be depleted within days. Please contact your local bank as soon as possible. 

Key information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • Small businesses and 501(c)(3)s with fewer than 500 employees can apply.
  • Loans can be up to 2.5 x the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million.
  • Borrowers are eligible to have their loans forgiven or reduced if they maintain payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls before review period.

Act now to apply

  • Determine if you qualify
  • Contact your lender today
    • Loans can be obtained through SBA approved local banks – many of the local banks in our region are approved. Contact your lender today about the program.
  • Be proactive
    • Complete this brief 2-page PPP Application Form. Be proactive and fill out the form as soon as possible to expedite the process.

The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a Facebook live conversation with Congressman Ron Estes on the CARES Act. Watch it now.

Additional resources for businesses are available through the CARES Act

Download a pdf guide from the U.S. Senate to learn more about the below programs.

  • Emergency Economic Injury Grant: A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now.
  • Small Business Debt Relief Program: Ease your fears about maintaining payments on your current SBA loan.
  • Small Business Tax Provisions: employers can receive payroll tax credits and deferral of employer portion of payroll taxes.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Businesses across the nation are experiencing a dip in revenues or other economic impacts (supply chain costs, etc.) caused by the COVID-19 disruption. The Federal Government has authorized the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans directly to small business through a new program titled the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, in order for these companies to stay operational during the crisis. These low-interest loans will help alleviate economic injury for small businesses and can assist companies in staying operational during the crisis.

Program highlights:

  • Loans are available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • The program provides up to $2 million for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, commercial loans payments and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.

Businesses can begin applying for disaster loan assistance through the SBA at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Questions? Please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service at 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Becomes Law

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which, among many other things, provides paid leave for employees who must stay home to care for themselves or their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate passed the Act, and President Trump signed it into law. The Act makes sweeping changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and has immediate consequences for employers.

The Act creates two types of paid leave: (1) up to two weeks of sick leave for an employee who is subject to quarantine or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, is caring for someone who is quarantined or ill, or is caring for a child who cannot go to school; (2) and up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for an employee to care for a child who cannot go to school or daycare because of COVID-19. Employers will be subsidized for the paid leave through tax credits. Learn more here and at the links below.

Small business assistance information sessions

Kansas Small Business Development Center webinars

The Seward County Community College Kansas SBDC Regional Center will offer a webinar at 11:00 AM on April 2 on The CARES Act – Understand Your Business Options from an HR Perspective. 

With a massive $2 trillion allocated for businesses, individuals, federal agencies, and state and local governments, the CARES Act has been designed to distribute capital quickly and broadly. There are a number of provisions that impact small businesses. Register for this webinar to understand how this Act is broken down and applies to you as a small business, and learn the new updates to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Register in advance for this webinar at https://fhsu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7GJRlby7Q4iNgr7poOxbXg

SCORE Mentor Programs

Powered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE offers free live webinars and online workshops to provide small businesses guidance and resources to navigate this unprecedented time.

IRS extends filing deadline and federal tax payments

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Learn more.

STATE RESOURCES

Expedited process for $6.3 million in Community Development Block Programs

The State of Kansas has streamlined the application process for Community Development Block Programs. These economic development grants to cities or counties are loaned to provide gap financing for private businesses that create or retain permanent jobs. Previously, the review and public notice process took 30 days before loans could be issued. Now, the Department of Commerce can provide certification with 24 hours and communities can issue working capital loans to businesses in as little as two days. Learn more.

Unemployment benefits extension

Governor Laura Kelly recently signed this extension, extending unemployment benefits from 16 to 26 weeks. We appreciate the leadership of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce for championing this effort as part of the Air Capital Commitment.

LOCAL RESOURCES

  • Sedgwick County Health Department on COVID-19
    • If you are a business and would like to offer support/donations to keep our public safety and healthcare workers safe, let Sedgwick County Emergency Management know. They are seeking:
      • Protective face masks: FDA/NIOSH approved N-95 or surgical masks
      • Non-latex, medical gloves
      • Hand sanitizer
      • Surface cleaners
      • Non-permeable/fluid resistant gowns
      • Nasopharyngeal specimen collection – swab and viral transport medium
    • Contact Sedgwick County Emergency Management at (316) 660-5959 to donate.
  • Sedgwick County Facility Closings
  • New COMCARE Support Line
    • A new support line for residents who are experiencing elevated mental health symptoms but in crisis is available through COMCARE. Residents can call (316) 660-1111 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to receive resources, coping skill ideas and encouragement to stay healthy, emotionally and physically.
  • City of Wichita on COVID-19
  • United Way of the Plains
    • The United Way of the Plains is a one-stop referral service for those impacted by COVID-19. For any general questions regarding the Coronavirus, call 2-1-1 to talk with a call specialist for assistance or text your ZIP code to 898-211.
    • The United Way has created the Pandemic Fund to help people who have self-quarantined or vulnerable populations, such as the elderly. There are three simple ways to make a donation.
      • Donate online
      • Text "ICTResponse" to 41444 to donate
      • Checks can be mailed to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water St., Wichita, KS 67202. Please include "Pandemic Fund" in the memo.
  • Wichita Community Foundation
    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF) has mobilized two funds, the WCF Emergency Fund (to assist nonprofits) and the newly-created Stand with Wichita Fund (to support individuals). The Stand with Wichita Fund, created in partnership with The Salvation Army, will provide utility assistance to anyone whose employment status has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
    • If you are a nonprofit organization or an individual who has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, view the press release announcing these funds to learn more.

  • Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
    • The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce has developed a resources page for small businesses affected by COVID-19. In addition, multiple virtual events and webinars are being hosted regularly on subjects important for small businesses during this time.
  • Downtown Wichita - local restaurant/retail offerings
    • Downtown Wichita has developed a list of specials, online ordering and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic from downtown restaurants and retailers.
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