With the launch of 2021 coronavirus relief programs, Gov. Laura Kelly has announced Kansans can begin submitting applications to the 2021 federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for forgivable loans to small businesses.
“Kansas small businesses have been among those hardest hit by COVID-19,” Gov. Kelly said. “The Paycheck Protection Program is integral to keeping our state on the path to recovery. This is a good step forward, but we know the need for relief is great – and I will continue to push for additional stimulus funding to support Kansas’ economic recovery.”
Led by the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department, the PPP is a federally administered program providing loans to small businesses to cover payroll expenses. The SBA began accepting applications through Community Financial Institutions on Jan. 11 and through all other financial institutions on Jan. 19, with applications accepted through March 31.
“In the past year, the Paycheck Protection Program offered federal support to tens of thousands of Kansas small businesses, but we understand that the need is still great,” Lt. Gov. and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “This program exists to put federal dollars in the hands of small business owners who need them most. I would encourage Kansas small business owners to apply for this program to get more resources as our state continues to grow and recover from this enormous challenge.”
During the 2020 distribution of PPP money, 54,000 small businesses in Kansas received $5 billion in funding. The 2021 PPP aims to make the program more attractive for small businesses and target the worst impacted industries through the following changes:
• Forgiveness has been simplified for borrowers of $150,000 or less, with self-certification option to attest funds are spent appropriately.
• Hospitality businesses, including hotels and restaurants, are eligible for an increased loan total (3.5 times monthly payroll).
• Eligible expenses paid for with forgiven PPP loans may now be deducted on taxes for 2020 and 2021 and employers are now eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit even after taking PPP funds (reverses earlier guidance from IRS).
• Employers no longer must deduct Economic Injury Disaster Loans from their PPP loan total (EIDL program was refunded with an additional $40 billion too).
• Additional categories are now eligible as non-payroll expenses (up to 40% of total loan amount), with operational expenses (including software, cloud services, accounting services, etc.), supplier costs, damage from social unrest, and worker protection expenses.
• Additional groups are eligible for loans, including 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, and direct marketing organizations.
Under the new program, $234 billion are available with $12 billion earmarked for businesses in low-income and minority communities, as well as $15 billion in grants dedicated to live entertainment venues.
Through Community Financial Institutions, the SBA hopes to encourage greater access to PPP funds. Businesses that have not received PPP funds previously are eligible for loans up to $10 million if they have 500 or fewer employees. Businesses that received PPP funds during the first round are eligible for up to $2 million in funding if they have 300 or fewer employees.
Information on where and how to apply can be found at https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.
• Information on Community Financial Institutions can be found at https://www.sba.gov/article/2021/jan/11/sba-re-opens-ppp-community-financial-institutions-first.
• Further general information on loans can be found at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.
• Further questions can be directed to the Kansas Department of Commerce at https://www.kansascommerce.gov/.
COVID-19 case numbers reported
Wyandotte County reported an increase of 37 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, Feb. 6, according to the Unified Government’s COVID-19 webpage. There were a cumulative 17,187 cases. There was a cumulative total of 237 deaths, no change since Friday.
The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 150,344 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Saturday. There were 1,924 cumulative deaths, and 111 was the daily average of new hospitalizations.
The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Saturday night reported 26,916,158 cumulative cases in the United States, with 462,173 total deaths nationwide.
Free COVID-19 tests Monday
The Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 test site at the former Kmart building at 78th and State will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8. Appointments are not needed for COVID-19 tests. To see if there is any change to the schedule, visit https://www.facebook.com/UGHealthDept.
The Health Department is now offering saliva COVID-19 tests to the public.
Tests from the Health Department are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County.
The tests are open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Check with the UG Health Department’s Facebook page to see if there have been any changes in the schedule. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.
COVID-19 tests will be available Monday, Feb. 8, at the Pierson Community Center parking lot, 1800 S. 55th St., Kansas City, Kansas. Hours are subject to change depending on the weather and other factors. These tests are through WellHealth Management. Appointments are required at the Pierson Community Center. For more information and to schedule a test, visit www.GoGetTested.com/Kansas.
Wyandotte County residents who are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine may fill out a survey form at the UG Health Department at https://us.openforms.com/Form/2f2bcc68-3b6a-450b-9007-d39819db6572. Residents will be contacted to make an appointment when vaccine becomes available. The Health Department currently is vaccinating high-contact critical workers, as well as residents over 85.
Saliva testing is now offered at the UG Health Department. For more information, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/02042021-ugphd-saliva-testing-available.pdf.
For more information about how Wyandotte County residents over 85 can get a vaccine at the Health Department site, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/02032021_wycovaccinationsage85.pdf.
Vaccine data for the state of Kansas is at https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/158/Data.
Cards and letters of encouragement for caregivers at KU Health System may be sent to Share Joy, care of Patient Relations, 4000 Cambridge St., Mailstop 1021, Kansas City, Kansas, 66160. Emails can be sent to ShareJoy@kumc.edu.
Wyandotte County is under a mandatory mask and social distancing order.
The UG COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.
The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.
The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.
The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/20209.html.