Editor’s note: The following is part of Startland News’ ongoing coverage of the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Kansas City’s entrepreneur community, as well as how innovation is helping to drive a new normal in the ecosystem. Click here to follow related stories as they develop. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a financial supporter of Startland News.
Kansas City’s hometown ecosystem-building trendsetter announced Tuesday a series of financial commitments in response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Just over a week into a regional shutdown in Kansas City, the Kauffman Foundation affirmed its support for grantees, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and educational institutions, tallying $2.8 million in already committed dollars to community response efforts across the metro.
The Foundation will also honor all existing sponsorships, recognizing that events may get postponed, and continuing grantmaking with minimal disruption, the organization said. More than $75 million in grants were already awarded in 2020.
“Now more than ever, we need a concerted effort on the national, state, and local level for effective response and recovery,” said Wendy Guillies, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “We take our ability to be a steady hand in these times seriously and look to fill gaps for the short- and long-term.”
“The Kauffman Foundation will continue focusing our efforts on relief and support in the Kansas City region, and we will work with our colleagues in other philanthropies to evaluate the government response to the disaster and see where our organizations can add value in supporting our communities across the nation,” she added.
Among the already established COVID-19 response efforts:
- $500,000 in general community support through the joint Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
- $500,000 to the KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund to support entrepreneurs and small business owners in Kansas City.
- Up to $1.2 million to support district and charter schools and nonprofit education support organizations.
- Up to $600,000 for current KC Civic grantees who need additional COVID-19 related support.
- 6 to 1 match for donations up to $500 per associate to support 501(c)(3) public charities assisting with COVID-19 relief efforts.
“We believe our long-term strategy is a pathway to a stronger and more inclusive community-based economy,” Guillies said in recent edition of Kauffman’s Currents, noting the importance of the nonprofit sector to proactively stay involved and provide services to the public during the COVID-19 global pandemic. “Even in these turbulent times, we must and will continue that work.”
Click here to read more specifics on Kauffman’s COVID-19 response strategy.
The Kauffman Foundation also published a guide to SBA lending and will continue its work to develop actionable research and promote policies highlighted in America’s New Business Plan to strengthen entrepreneurship.