GREG LOWER

Eleven Neosho County businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic shared more than $160,000 in state grants funds.

The Small Business Working Capital grants were part of $37.5 million awarded to nearly 2,000 businesses of fewer than 500 employees through the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas taskforce through the federal CARES Act.

Neosho County businesses that received $20,000 each were Chandler Oil LLC; Chanute Wellness Center LLC; CVR MFG, Inc.; Fager Brothers, LLC, in Erie; Gabbyworld LLC; and KJA Enterprises, LLC. Other recipients were Dalton’s Back 9 Bar and Grill, $18,000; FireEscape Youth Ministry, Inc., $5,000; Main Street Chanute, Inc., $5,700; Screenworks, LLC, $10,000; and Stephanie Westhoff, $5,000.

Three Iola companies and a Bronson company in Allen County each received $20,000.

Wilson County recipients Contractor’s Engineer, Inc., and SAE LLC and Woodson County recipient United Rodeo Association also each received $20,000.

The SBWC grants from the State of Kansas are separate from the SPARK grants to businesses and households administered through the Chanute Regional Development Authority.

CRDA Director Matt Godinez said he is happy to see more businesses receive assistance and that any program that can help businesses is all the better.

Main Street Chanute Director Ruthann Boatwright said she was happy that the organization qualified and also happy for businesses that received funding to stay open. She said the grant will help bridge the cancellation of this year’s Artist Alley, which normally draws 6,000 to 8,000 people and generates $10,000 to $12,000 in revenue for Main Street Chanute.

Michael Dalton with Dalton’s Back 9 said he greatly appreciates the funds and without them his business would not be here.

“I don’t think we would have survived this long,” he said.

Kelly Coover, co-owner and president of CVR Manufacturing in Galesburg, said his company has taken a hit from the pandemic.

“This has allowed us to keep the doors open,” he said. The company currently has three employees down from five or six, but Coover hopes to bring people back.

“It’s good for us. That’s the bottom line,” he said.

The CRDA is taking applications until Nov. 20 for household assistance.

The SPARK taskforce and Kansas Department of Commerce will maintain the SBWC grant program as well as PPE Procurement and Connectivity Emergency Response Grant programs, should more federal CARES Act funding become available.

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