Governor Kelly announced that $100M is going toward 35 infrastructure investment projects associated with economic development in Kansas. This funding is made available through the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) grant program.
“The BASE program is vital to enhancing Kansas’ economic competitiveness,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These grants provide essential funding to our local communities, positioning them to succeed and be a place of continued economic growth.”
As approved by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee, the BASE grant program offers matching funds to address economic development opportunities to expand the state’s base of businesses and residents to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SPARK Executive Committee allocated $100 million in COVID-19 relief funds to the BASE program.
“For our state to grow and businesses to flourish, we need a strong economic foundation in communities across Kansas,” Senate President Ty Masterson said. “I believe that building that foundation requires strong tax and economic policies. SPARK appropriated funds for these BASE grants because they offer unique opportunities to strengthen those foundations and build a prosperous future for all Kansans.”
County and local governments, Economic Development Organizations, local Chambers of Commerce, and other stakeholders were eligible to apply for a BASE grant. There is a minimum 25% applicant match requirement. In addition, applicants were required to document how the project was delayed or affected negatively due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting negative economic conditions. The Department of Commerce received 446 applications totaling $1.8 billion in requested funds, demonstrating the vast need across the state.
“SPARK is prioritizing investments that will create long-term systemic impacts for Kansans,” House Speaker Ron Ryckman said. “These BASE grants will do just that by modernizing economic infrastructure in communities across our state to foster future growth.”
In addition to funds awarded, the BASE program has generated $889.6 million in matching investments by public and private stakeholders for awarded projects.
Projects selected must be completed within two years of the award date. Awardees will be provided with 50% of award allocation in 2022. The remaining 50% of funding will be provided no earlier than January 2023.
“The BASE grants provide critical support for transformational economic development projects across Kansas and will be a huge boost to local economies,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Working in partnership with local leaders enhances the long-term sustainability of the projects and ensures that these targeted dollars will fit the specific needs of each community and their plans for future growth.”
For a list of BASE grant recipients and more information about the program, click here.