About $80 million available to businesses, schools in two new recovery loan programs

(Source: Pixabay)
(Source: Pixabay)(Pixabay)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:55 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas businesses and schools could be eligible for help paying gas bills for the cold snap that affected northeast Kansas in February.

Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers says the Economic Recovery and Extraordinary Utility Loan Deposit Programs both launched during the week of May 3. He said the programs provide low-interest loans to small businesses, agricultural operations and schools that experienced an unusually high natural gas bill from the February winter weather cold snap.

“As our state continues to recover from the pandemic, our office is continuing to provide tools for Kansans to strengthen their financial footing and stimulate business growth and development,” said Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “These programs offer opportunities to directly invest in Main Street Kansas and create jobs.”

According to Rogers, the Economic Recovery Loan Program will provide $60 million for low-interest loans to small commercial and agricultural businesses. He said loans of up to $250,000 will be required to be used for costs related to the operations of the businesses that have no more than 200 full-time employees. The program became law in February and will start on July 1. With encouragement, Rogers said the Kansas Legislature passed a bill to allow the program to start upon publication in the register.

“Our office recognized a need to get these programs up and running as soon as possible. We worked closely with members of the legislature to adjust the law, allowing us to get more relief to Kansans in every corner of our state earlier,” said Rogers.

Rogers said the Extraordinary Utility Loan Program will use $20 million from the City Utility Loan Program to provide low-interest loans to wholesale natural gas customers, like businesses and school districts, who saw a higher built resulting from the February winter weather. He said the program will provide loans of no more than $500,000 with a term of up to 3 years.

According to Rogers, his office started to accept participation agreements from financial institutions on Monday, May 3. Under both programs, he said participating Kansas banks, credit unions and farm credit associations will be responsible for processing the loans. There is no risk to the state.

“We have had businesses calling about these loans. They’re ready to apply, and we want to encourage as many banks, credit unions, and farm credit associations to participate,” said Rogers.

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