Starting a small business can be key to lowering individuals’ risk for involvement in violent activities, as well as increasing household income and financial stability, according to a debut microgrant program that targets new and aspiring entrepreneurs.
“We need to find new ways of providing hope and pathways forward in our city where there have been decades of neglect, decades of lack of opportunity, and decades of harmful and destructive stress,” said Dr. Marvia Jones, violence prevention and policy manager within the KCMO Health Department. “We need to invest in people.”
The Startup Assets for Economic (SAFE) Opportunity entrepreneurship grant program — administered by the Community Capital Fund (an affiliate of AltCap) in partnership with the KCMO Health Department — is a step toward that investment, Jones said.
The new effort is set to award microgrants ranging from $500 to $2,000 to residents of Kansas City’s 64128 zip code area.
Click here to apply for the SAFE Opportunity microgrant program. The deadline is 5 p.m. Aug. 24.
Kansas City, Missouri, has made headlines this summer as the homicide rate has soared to 116 amid a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing social justice movements.
SAFE Opportunity is the first initiative of the KCMO Council’s newly adopted KC Blueprint for violence prevention and a safe and healthy community, which addresses how to fight violence in Kansas City from youth through adulthood through social gateways instead of primarily through law enforcement.
Thirty to 40 grants are expected to be awarded through the SAFE Opportunity program, said Michael Carmona, program manager for the Community Capital Fund.
Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners who began their business on or after Jan. 1, 2019, are eligible.
Funds are intended for the direct support of asset purchases related to small business — “from supplies and equipment, to training and certification expenses, to startup expenses like registration and business license fees,” according to the Community Capital Fund.
Click here for more information about the grant program, including exclusions from eligibility, which include adult entertainment, banking, seasonal financial services, liquor stores, tobacco stores, cannabis cultivation or dispensaries, and franchises (not including locally owned and independently operated franchises).