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.
Reaction to a new COVID-19 relief fund was swift this week, logging 635 requests in the program’s first three days and prompting AltCap to close applications while its team processes more than $30 million in asks from small businesses.
“This immediate response tells me that folks are in need of any resources they can access because they not only have to take care of their business and family but also their employees and their families,” said Davin Gordon, business development officer for AltCap and a key driver of the KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Loan Fund.
The $5 million fund — first publicly announced Tuesday — sought to offer businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic shutdown up to $100,000 in loans with flexible collateral requirement and zero-percent interest for the first six to 12 months.
Click here for more details on the rollout of the KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Loan Fund, which is backed by a public-private partnership including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, civic organizations, and individuals.
“We know this is an extremely challenging and critical time for our small business community and our team is working hard to process and respond to all inquiries,” said Megan Crook, advancement and external affairs officer for AltCap. “Because of the high demand we are not accepting any new applications at this time.”
Future funding opportunities are expected to be announced via AltCap’s newsletter and social media channels, Crook added.
Requests so far have run the spectrum of small businesses, Gordon said, and all expressed appreciation for the AltCap team’s personal response and follow-up.
“I’ve talked to restaurants, bars, retailers, hair salons, entertainment companies, coffee shops and more,” he said. “Every single person I’ve talked to has just been thankful to hear from someone after submitting their interest in the COVID small business relief fund. Many folks shared they have applied for the different SBA (Small Business Administration) relief efforts and haven’t heard a word from anyone and they do not know what to expect.”
“If anything we’re providing hope and inspiration to continue fighting for your business and your passion,” Gordon added.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.