KINGSBURG — The Kingsburg City Council allocated funding and unanimously approved a small business grant program to provide aid for local businesses impacted by COVID-19 during its Sept. 16 meeting.

Businesses that qualify for the program will receive a $3,000 grant, which is funded through the city’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Kingsburg is set to receive approximately $159,000 of coronavirus relief and the city is committing up to $60,000 from CARES Act funding for the grant program.

The council had been talking about the implementation of a small business program during a discussion on CARES Act funding on Sept. 2.

For business to be eligible for the grant program, eligibility will be determined on the following basis:

  • Business must be for-profit, physically located and operating in the City of Kingsburg
  • Have a physical establishment within the City of Kingsburg (no home-based business)
  • Independent contractors may be eligible but will receive lower rankings in the scoring matrix
  • Business must have 25 or less full-time equivalent employees (as of March 15, 2020, prior to COVID-19)
  • Business must be operational for at least one year prior to March 15, 2020
  • Business must demonstrate it has been impacted by COVID-19
  • The business continues to operate legally during the COVID-19 crisis (following state/county public health guidelines)
  • Business cannot have any outstanding local, state, federal tax liens or judgement
  • Businesses that have not received funding through the CARES Act, such as payroll protection, program loans, will be given priority

Applications will be ranked and grants will be available until funds are exhausted. To help rank applications, the scoring categories include:

  • Percentage of revenue lost compared to same time period in 2019 (April 1 - June 30)
  • Total number of full-time equivalent employees
  • Number of years in operation in Kingsburg
  • If an applicant has received any COVID-19 related emergency funds (Small Business Administration loan, Paycheck Protection Program, etc.)
  • Type of business

The city is accepting applications until Oct. 16 and applications can be submitted through mail or drop off at City Hall and applicants can email Kingsburg Economic Development Coordinator Jolene Polyack at jolene@polyack.com.

COVID-19 Update

Prior to discussing the grant program, city manager Alexander Henderson provided an update on Kingsburg’s COVID-19 statistics.

As of Sept. 16, Kingsburg has 411 total cases with 28 being open or active and 383 of them being cleared.

The updated mode of transmission numbers were:

  • Close contact/person-to-person: 181
  • Community spread/unknown: 198
  • Travel related: seven
  • Under investigation: 25
  • Deaths: 25 (17 from an aggregate setting)

On Sept. 16, Kingsburg and Fresno were in the widespread purple tier in the state’s four color-coded system. At the time of the meeting, Fresno County was 6.2%.

As of Sept. 15, the state’s data showed 7.8 new cases per day per 100,000 in the county. That number would need to be lowered to below seven for a two-week period to move into the red tier, Henderson said.

The county’s positivity rate is already compliant with the recommended rate of 8% or below. That number also needs to stay below 8% for two weeks. Once the county is in the red category, schools could reopen and additional businesses could open and operate indoors with a limited capacity.

Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at (559) 583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com. Follow Jeremiah on Twitter at @TheJerryMartin. 

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