TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly, today, announced the launch of the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) program. BASE is a new grant opportunity to help support infrastructure development and advance economic development opportunities across Kansas.
“Programs like this provide vital funding to ensure Kansas communities continue to recover from COVID-19 and grow their economies,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These dollars represent an important opportunity for communities to build economic foundations for the future.”
The grant program will be administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce. As proposed by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee, the program offers matching funds to address economic development opportunities with the goal of expanding the state’s base of businesses and residents as we continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This program will help Kansas remain competitive in business attraction and retention in critical sectors of the economy,” Senate President Ty Masterson said. “SPARK is committed to positioning Kansas for long-term economic growth.”
In December 2021, the SPARK Executive Committee approved $100M in available federal COVID-19 relief funding for eligible economic development and infrastructure proposals. Projects that qualify under the requirements of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) may receive matching funds to facilitate project completion.
Projects submitted are required to document how the project was delayed or affected negatively due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting negative economic conditions. Additionally, there is a minimum 25% match requirement by the applicant.
“The modernization and development of Kansas’ economic infrastructure is vital to positioning our businesses for success into the future,” House Speaker Ron Ryckman said. “I look forward to seeing how these dollars are leveraged by our communities to advance economic growth.”
County and local governments, Economic Development Organizations, local Chambers of Commerce, and other stakeholders are eligible to apply. Awardees will be provided with 50% of award allocation in calendar year 2022. The remaining 50% of funding will be provided no earlier than January 2023.
“The Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) program enhances our state’s competitiveness and resiliency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The BASE Grants will provide a foundation for communities to develop infrastructure and economic assets that will set the stage for long-term business and community growth across Kansas.”
Projects to be funded by BASE would support infrastructure investments associated with economic development projects including:
- Development of new business parks
- Development of infrastructure required to support business expansions
- Renovation of existing business parks to bring them up to modern standards
- Development of infrastructure such as railroad spurs, water, wastewater, stormwater and other utilities
- Driveway aprons
- Business park signage
- Parking facilities directly associated with business attraction projects
- Speculative industrial office and residential space
- Development of infrastructure related to cybersecurity investments
- Other projects that achieve the goal of expanding the state’s base of businesses and residents.
The BASE grant application process opens Monday, January 31, 2022 at 1:00PM with a Monday, February 28, 2022 11:59PM deadline for submissions. Grant awardees will be announced no earlier than March 25, 2022.
An informational webinar on BASE will be available to the public on Wednesday, February 2 at 3:00PM. Registration for the webinar and guidelines for the grant application can be found at kansascommerce.gov/basegrant. Applicants can contact CommerceSPARK@ks.gov for any questions regarding this funding opportunity.