Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant
In partnership with
UMKC Innovation Center • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
UMB Bank • Bank of Blue Valley • AltCap • Bank of Labor • Central Bank of the Midwest
COVID-19 has negatively impacted our entire small business community. However, entrepreneurs of color haven’t been able to access disaster financing and relief funding at the same rate as other business owners.
The KC Minority Business Resiliency Grant is a $100,000 fund intended to help these vital Kansas City businesses get relief, build resiliency and come back stronger.
The UMKC Innovation Center and our local financial partners have developed the fund to:
- provide funding and assistance to KC metro-area minority businesses that were left out of initial relief funding
- help businesses fund reopening expenses, get online-ready, organize the back office and otherwise build future resiliency
- help more minority-owned companies become bank-ready for the future
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What is the KC Minority Business Resiliency Grant?
The Resiliency Grant program will award up to $5,000 to at least 20 racial/ethnic minority-owned businesses. The grants are funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and administered by the UMKC Innovation Center in partnership with local financial institutions.
- The total grant pool is $100,000
- Fund requests have a minimum of $500 and maximum of $5,000
- There will be a minimum of 20 grant awards
- Only the first 100 applications will be considered for a microgrant
This is a grant, not a loan. Grant awardees will have zero financial repayment.
However, awardees will be expected to report on how the funds impacted their businesses. Those results will help incent future financial support for similar grant projects.
What businesses are eligible?
Only for-profit businesses that are majority owned by racial/ethnic minority entrepreneurs are eligible: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans as defined by federal regulations, who also:
- live in or operate a business physically located in the Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA):
Bates County, Mo.
Caldwell County, Mo.
Cass County, Mo.
Clay County, Mo.
Clinton County, Mo.
Jackson County, Mo.
Johnson County, Kan.
Lafayette County, Mo.
Leavenworth County, Kan.
Linn County, Kan.
Miami County, Kan.
Platte County, Mo.
Ray County, Mo.
Wyandotte County, Kan.
- own a business that has documented sales that don’t exceed $250,000
- were negatively impacted by COVID-19
- currently don’t or haven’t previously worked for the UMKC Innovation Center, UMB Bank, Bank of Blue Valley, Alt-Cap, Bank of Labor, Central Bank of the Midwest or the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Other criteria may apply.
What do I need to apply?
The online application for a Resiliency Grant will go live at 12 noon on Monday, Aug. 17, but you can prepare your materials now. You’ll need:
- Basic information about your business: company name, name of all owners, racial/ethnic background of all owners as well as links to your website and social media channels
- Requested grant amount (up to, but not exceeding $5,000) and how you’ll use it
- Proof of business documents, which can include customer lists, contracts, or any other documentation that shows your sales, spend, losses and profits.
- Simple income statement for Jan. 2019 through June 2020 and financial projections for July 2020 through December 2021. Be prepared to answer three questions for each month in that time span: What were you sales? What were your expenses? What were your profits or losses?
- Evidence of how your business was impacted by COVID-19
Optional materials that can accompany your grant application:
- video (less than 2 minutes) that describes and shows your business
- recommendation letters
- online or other customer reviews
How will the grant applications be evaluated?
The UMKC Innovation Center will screen the first 100 grant applications to make sure they meet basic criteria. The program’s financial partners will then evaluate the applications and determine the final grant awards.
Applications with strong evidence provided for any assertions and a clear path to improved cash flow from the funds will be highly rated. Applications that effectively communicate why their business is important to customers and our local community will also likely be well positioned.
Of the qualified applicants, at least 20 businesses will receive funding from the total grant pool of $100,000.
Applicants will be notified of award or non-award in relation to the Kansas City Minority Business Resiliency Grant by Aug. 31, 2020.
Meet the evaluation team
Davin Gordon, Business Development Officer, AltCap
Shanee Kimber, AVP Community and Business Development Officer, Bank of Blue Valley
Sandra Olivas, VP Commercial Business Development Officer, Bank of Labor
Theodis Watson, AVP Community Business Relationship Manager,
Central Bank of the Midwest
Shakia Webb, AVP Small Business Relationship, UMB
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is considered a minority?
A: We’re using the government’s definition of minority as outlined in federal regulations: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.
Q: How will the grant be evaluated?
A: In addition to meeting all the grant’s basic criteria including the ethnic, financial and geographical benchmarks, applications with strong evidence provided for any assertions and a clear path to improved cash flow from the funds will be highly rated. Applications that effectively communicate why their business is important to customers and our local community will also likely be well positioned.
Q: What do you need for “proof of sales”?
A: The evaluators will accept a 2019 tax return, 2019 year-end income statement, 2019 company bank statement or other relevant documentation that proves your business was truly in operation with sales that did not exceed $250,000 in sales for 2019.
Q: What file formats can I include in my application materials?
A: The application form can accept MS Office documents like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, PDFs, videos and images. Photos must be in PNG or JPG formats. Videos must be high resolution with no more than 10MB per file. Videos should be in MP4 format or submitted via a public Vimeo or YouTube link. Please do not plan to use Google docs files as they require a sign in or approval. If you’re a Google user, there is still a solution! Please save those Google docs files in a PDF format so that your files will be compatible. More details on saving Google files in a PDF format can be found here. General information about saving files in PDF format may be found here.
Q: I’m a startup and didn’t have sales in 2019. May I still apply?
A: These funds are for companies that were established prior to COVID. As such, only companies that already existed in 2019 with documented sales + those sales being less than $250,000 qualify for this opportunity. If you’re a young company who can document that you had sales in 2019, by all means apply!
Q: Grants are typically for non-profits. Can my for-profit business apply?
A: Yes. This is one of the few instances of grant funds available exclusively for for-profit businesses. Please apply!
Q: I’m a minority controlled non-profit company. May I still apply?
A: We know that so many non-profit companies are out there doing amazing work for our community! However, these funds have been set aside for minority owned businesses. A nonprofit organization is regrettably not “owned” by the people who start it, nor their successors in leadership. These individuals operate in a position of trust and accountability to the public at large who the government then allows to operate exempt from the taxes that for-profit businesses must pay. Because directors and board members don’t own the company, non-profits don’t qualify for this particular grant opportunity.
Q: What do you mean by “negatively impacted by COVID-19”? What evidence will be required?
A: Many companies have experienced reduced sales, higher expenses, and additional challenges due to the pandemic. Applicants will need to be able to describe and verbally quantify the unusual circumstances and results COVID has had on their company’s normal operations. Information about changes with customers, sales, foot-traffic and more could be beneficial.
Q: Does the business owner have to have a social security number or ITIN?
A: The business owner will be required to fill out a W-9 in order to be paid. Because of that, an SSN, ITIN or EIN is necessary for the payment of the grant.
Q: I don’t live in the area, but I have customers in the area. Will I qualify?
A: Businesses that are physically located within the Kansas City MSA (including home-based businesses in that geography) meet this criteria. Business owners living within the MSA also qualify the owner’s business. However, if the business is not located within the stated area and no owners of the business live in the stated area, the application will be disqualified.
Q: Why is the grant opportunity limited to the first 100 applicants?
A: The need is certainly great, but these funds are limited. Limiting the amount of applications is the best way to communicate that the fund pool is small while ensuring that each application that we can review (the 100 we’re accepting) is given full, thoughtful consideration.
Q: What do you mean by “negatively impacted by COVID-19”? What evidence will be required?
A: Many companies have experienced reduced sales, higher expenses, and additional challenges due to the pandemic. Applicants will need to be able to describe and verbally quantify the unusual circumstances and results COVID has had on their company’s normal operations.
Q: Can I fill out the application in advance and upload it on Aug. 17?
A: No. You’ll need to submit your application using the link and form that will go live on this page on Aug. 17 at noon. However, you can preview the application questions in advance to best gather and prepare your application materials.
Q: Is there an option to fill out the application offline and submit via mail?
A: No. The postal service timing isn’t a fit for the measurement of the first 100 applicants. However, the application is something that can be filled out on a mobile device. If access to a computer is an issue, please check in with your local library. Here’s a short list of libraries that may be able to provide computer access: