The Garden City Commission approved the submission of an application to the Kansas Department of Commerce for federal Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus funds.

The commission voted 5-0 after a public hearing and special commission meeting Friday to approve the application, which allows cities or counties to apply for up to $300,000 for COVID-19 related economic development purposes for low-to-moderate income populations.

As part of the application, there is a $15,000 administration fee, which the city has voted to pay out of the city’s Community Development budget line item.

Lona DuVall, president/CEO of the Finney County Economic Development Corporation, said the funds are similar the CDBG loans they’ve been giving out to local businesses, but are grants instead of loans.

“These are to be used as grants for businesses, and businesses will submit invoices should they qualify for the funds and be approved for the grants ... to receive their payment,” she said.

DuVall said personal services businesses will have the first go at applying for the grant funds if the city’s application is approved.

After 45 days, they will allow other businesses to apply for funds, DuVall said.

“Those personal services businesses have been impacted even to a greater extent than most of our retail and restaurants, as they were able to open at least in some limited capacity,” she said. “The personal services businesses didn't have that luxury. We just want to make sure that we have the opportunity extended to as many of them as possible.”