Editor’s note: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a financial sponsor of Startland News. This report was produced independently by Startland News’ nonprofit newsroom.
A COVID-era resiliency fund that quickly closed applications after receiving a deluge of response from entrepreneurs in need has awarded microgrants to 23 minority businesses on both sides of the state line.
“With many of the federal small business aid programs not reaching our entrepreneurs of color, this was a unique opportunity to create equity,” said Davin Gordon, senior business development officer for AltCap and a member of the evaluation committee for the Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant. “It’s not everyday you get the chance to give away $100,000 in small business grants. The selection process wasn’t easy, and we look forward to the impact these grants will have for the selected businesses.”
All recipients were entrepreneurs of color, according to organizers of the effort, and more than 60 percent of the grant awardees were women.
The fund, supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and administered by the UMKC Innovation Center and partnering financial institutions, was created to help business owners who haven’t been able to access disaster financing and relief funding at the same rate as others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to read more about the grant program’s launch.
All businesses awarded a microgrant are majority owned by racial/ethnic minority entrepreneurs, are located in the Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area, have proof of sales in 2019 that didn’t exceed $250,000 and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The 100-applicant threshold was met in just two hours after applications opened Aug. 17, illustrating the immense need of a grant fund such as this, which does not require recipients to repay any of the financing they receive through this opportunity. Recipients could request between $500 and $5,000.
Click here to learn more about the immediate response to the Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant.
Of the 23 businesses receiving funding through this grant, 20 received the full amount they requested, according to the UMKC Innovation Center. An additional three businesses received funding with remaining funds.
Entrepreneurs and businesses supported through the fund’s grant rollout include:
- Matthew Semegran, Royal Executive Cleaning Services, Independence
- Miel Castagna-Herrera, Café Corazón, Kansas City
- Natasha El-Scari, Natasha Ria Ltd, Kansas City
- Philip Hickman, MindAble Solutions LLC, Kansas City
- LaRonda LaNear, We Got It Covered Catering Services LLC, Kansas City
- Sherry Lumpkins, Blue Symphony LLC, Kansas City
- Nicole Ortega, Clothz Minded, Kansas City
- Brandon Redmond, Triple B’s Renovations, Kansas City
- Keith Stanfield, Opus 76 LLC, Kansas City
- Michael Thomas, Shotz Grill & Grocery, Kansas City
- Ann Winston, Winston Management Services LLC, Kansas City
- AbdulRasheed Yahaya, Local Legends Gaming LLC, Kansas City
- Katherine Alsip, ThriveOn Concepts, North Kansas City
- DeNira Dedeaux, Sean M Horton Atelier, Raytown
- Shelley Cooper, Diversity Telehealth LLC, Kansas City
- Martin Jimenez, MJ Design and Parts LLC, Kansas City
- Tina Medina, Wise Writers and Speakers, Kansas City
- James Watson, Jayhawk One-Day Cleaners, Kansas City
- Damon Washington, DS Washington & Associates LLC, Kansas City
- Debra Roark, Spirit Life Apparel & Screenprinting, Merriam
- Jacquelyn Brown-Hadnot, Mallie Boushaye Bath & Body Essentials, Overland Park
- Kevin Doyle, Break Free Kansas City Hip Hop School, Overland Park
- Lisa Ragan, Safely Delicious LLC, Overland Park
Click here to explore KCSourceLink’s COVID-19 resources.