Chanute city commissioners met in a special session Thursday afternoon to authorize an application for coronavirus (COVID-19) economic relief.

A quorum of commissioners Tim Fairchild, Sam Budreau and Mayor Jacob LaRue voted in favor of a resolution to authorize the application for a Community Development Block Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce.

The city can apply for up to $300,000 to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Susan Galemore with the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission said the intent is to help businesses that cannot get other assistance for the same use, such as the Paycheck Protection Program through the federal Small Business Administration. The program is directed towards retaining existing jobs, rather than creating new ones.

The grant will be directed to two categories. One is for businesses of five or fewer employees, which can receive a maximum of $30,000 per company to retain a maximum of $25,000 per job. The other category is for businesses of six to 50 employees, with a maximum of $25,000 per job and $35,000 per company.

SEKRPC Director Matt Godinez, who is also director of Chanute Regional Development Authority, said the calls he has received are evenly split between the two categories.

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