The COVID-19 public health emergency resulted in significant economic hardships for many Americans. While the pandemic has affected communities across the country, it has disproportionately impacted low-income and minority communities, as well as, specific industries. Examples of specific industries included, but were not limited to:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Other Service Industries
- Entertainment and Leisure (includes food establishments)
- Transportation and Logistics
To help address the impacts of the pandemic, the City of Wichita was awarded $72.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding in May 2021 from the U.S. Department of Treasury, of which $36.2 million was received in June 2021.
On December 14, 2021, the City Council allocated up to $10 million of the City's ARPA funds for (1) Workforce Development and/or (2) Small Business Development Grants to help alleviate the economic hardships caused by the pandemic, with preference given to projects focused on mitigating the widening of equity gaps exacerbated by the pandemic. The City invited non-profit and educational entities to apply with applications due on February 2, 2022. The City received 81 applications totaling $28.2 million. City Council approved 15 grant agreements totaling $6,360,428 on April 12, 2022. See further information below.
City Council authorized staff to initiate round 2 of the Workforce and Small Business Development Grant Process on April 12, 2022. For further information regarding round 2, please click the button below.