Small Business Grant Program


Program Outline

To provide small businesses in Riley County with support as relief due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic, Riley County government is making available $2.5 million to support qualified eligible Small Businesses. Grants are being offered as a result of acute changes in economic conditions, needs, and resources as well as the availability of state and federal relief programs.

Qualified eligible businesses may receive up to $15,000 on a first come, first serve basis. An additional 10% will be added to the base award for verified minority-, women-, disadvantaged- and veteran business enterprises. The application window for the Riley County CARES small business grant program will open on September 24, 2020 at 1 p.m. and close on November 2, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Program Guidelines for Riley County Small Business Grant Program

Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a for-profit business with a physical location in Riley County, Kansas and was in operation on or before March 1, 2020, is still in operation when the grant funds are received and has experienced disruption due to the COVID-19 global pandemic
  • Employed and paying no more than 50 FTE employees as of March 1, 2020 (subcontractors and/or 1099 employees should not be included in the employee count)
  • Has experienced business interruption as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Is not part of a bigger business with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees
  • Shall not include a passive income business

The following entity types are not considered eligible to apply:

  • Publicly traded companies
  • Non-profit organizations

Grant Awards and Eligible Costs

Grant awards are as follows for eligible applicants:

  • Qualified eligible businesses will receive up to $15,000, with an additional 10% being added to the base award for verified minority-, women-, disadvantaged- and veteran business enterprises, until all program funds are awarded or distributed.

Eligible businesses receiving funds from Riley County will be required to certify in writing they will only use proceeds for:

  • Accounts payable, including utilities, vendors, suppliers, and working capital expenses paid or to be paid from March 1, 2020 through November 2, 2020.
  • Rent/mortgage payments paid or to be paid from March 1, 2020 through November 2, 2020.
  • Activities related to adjustment to the delivery of services, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) to enforce social distancing, touchless point of sale systems, hardware and software to adjust ordering/sales.

Grant awards cannot be used for the following costs:

  • Providing funds, directly or indirectly, for a dividend distribution, return of capital, or otherwise to owners, partners or shareholders of the business enterprise
  • Payroll expenses/employee pay; this includes payments to 1099 employees and/or those identified as subcontractors
  • The payment of any local, school district, state and/or federal tax obligations
  • To finance a business, project, activity and/or location primarily located outside the geographic boundaries of Riley County, Kansas
  • Any expense already satisfied by local, state and/or federal loan/grant programs such as SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • Any expense covered with any type of business insurance
  • Payment of debt
  • Any business activities not otherwise specified as allowable costs per the grant agreement (to be executed prior to funds disbursement)

Award of Grant and Grant Contracting

Completed applications will be reviewed by the Chamber of Commerce and considerations for grant awards will be based on satisfaction of eligibility criteria and demonstrated need in the grant application. Overall evaluation of need and grant award decision criteria will include:

  • Complete and thorough Small Business Grant application (pdf)
  • Completed W-9 (pdf)
  • Completion of Eligibility Memo Request (pdf)
  • Completion of Reimbursement report including receipts or invoices marked paid with copies of canceled checks or other proof of payment. This form will be provided with the award letter.
  • Well-explained and demonstrable need due to COVID-19 disruptions
  • Achieves program goal(s) based on economic impact of the applicant entity or sector
  • Supports the economy of our communities and/or the entire county in the short and long term
  • Funds are available for award and distribution

Applicants awarded grant funding will be required to sign a grant agreement (pdf) and documentation provided as part of the award and disbursement process. Additionally, at least one individual or entity having ownership in the business will be required to sign an affidavit (pdf) at the time of grant contract execution requiring that grant funds will be used as stipulated by the program guidelines and grant contract. Furthermore, the affidavit must promise any unused funds will be forfeited and any use of funds which violates the grant contract shall result in immediate repayment. Additional individuals may be required to sign such an affidavit depending on the ownership structure of the business at the discretion of the program administration entity, provided this additional affidavit requirement does not violate the terms of the grant contract.

Upon execution of the grant agreement and its return to the Chamber, efforts will be made to disburse reimbursement funds in a reasonably timely manner via check.

Note: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to further streamline application review and award, applicants are encouraged to provide a CURRENT email address with their grant application. Grant contract documents requiring your signature (s) will be submitted electronically to the email address you provide in your application.

Reconciliation of Eligible Expenses

Awardees shall provide The Chamber of Commerce a written reconciliation of how awardee’s funds were utilized by November 2, 2020, in which the Chamber of Commerce will submit to Riley County no later than November 30, 2020. Awardees shall outline in their reconciliation their use of funds and certify the information on their written reconciliation is accurate and subject to future audit/inspection.

A copy of the reconciliation form grant awardees will be required to submit shall be provided with an applicant’s award letter.

Application and all other required documentation will be provided and outlined at the following link

If unable to submit electronically, a completed paper application can be submitted at the following location:

Chamber of Commerce
501 Poyntz Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66502