Governor Laura Kelly Announces Request for Stronger Economy Grant

Local

Written by: Press Release Posted by David Elliott
Publication date: 02-01-2022

Governor Laura Kelly announced the launch of the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) program. BASE is a new grant opportunity to help support infrastructure development and advance economic development opportunities throughout Kansas.

“Programs like this provide vital funding to ensure Kansas communities continue to recover from COVID-19 and grow their economies,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These dollars represent an important opportunity for communities to build economic foundations for the future.”

The grant program will be administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. As proposed by the Executive Committee of Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK), the program provides matching funds to respond to economic development opportunities with the goal of expanding the state’s business and resident base as we continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This program will help Kansas stay competitive in attracting and retaining businesses in critical sectors of the economy,” said Senate Speaker Ty Masterson. “SPARK is committed to positioning Kansas for long-term economic growth.”

In December 2021, the SPARK Executive Committee approved $100 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding available for eligible economic development and infrastructure proposals. Projects that meet the requirements of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) may receive matching funds to facilitate project completion.

Submitted projects must document how the project has been delayed or negatively affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting negative economic conditions. Additionally, there is a minimum match requirement of 25% by the candidate.

“Upgrading and expanding Kansas’ economic infrastructure is critical to positioning our businesses for success in the future,” House Speaker Ron Ryckman said. “I look forward to seeing how these dollars will be used by our communities to advance economic growth.”

County and local governments, economic development organizations, local chambers of commerce and other stakeholders are eligible to apply. Fellows will receive 50% of the fellowship allocation in calendar year 2022. The remaining 50% of funding will be disbursed no earlier than January 2023.

“The Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) program is improving our state’s competitiveness and resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “BASE grants will provide a foundation for communities to develop infrastructure and economic assets that will pave the way for long-term business and community growth throughout Kansas.”

BASE-funded projects would support infrastructure investments associated with economic development projects, including:

  • Development of new business parks.
  • Development of infrastructure needed to support business expansion.
  • Renovation of existing business parks to bring them up to modern standards.
  • Development of infrastructure such as rail sidings, water, sewage, storm water and other utilities.
  • Aisle aprons.
  • Business park signage.
  • Parking facilities directly associated with commercial attraction projects.
  • Speculative industrial office and residential space.
  • Development of infrastructure related to cybersecurity investments.
  • Other projects that achieve the goal of expanding the state’s business and resident base.

The BASE grant application process is open with a submission deadline of Monday, February 28. Winners will be announced no earlier than March 25.

An information webinar on BASE will be available to the public on Wednesday, February 2 at 3 p.m. Webinar registration and grant application guidelines are available at kansascommerce.gov/basegrant. Applicants may contact [email protected] with any questions regarding this funding opportunity.

(Information courtesy of the Governor’s Office.)

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