Apr 25, 2023
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced awardees for the second round of the Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) economic development grant program. Thirty-eight awardees will receive a share of nearly $50 million in BASE grants, which will be used to address infrastructure and economic development needs where solutions were delayed or slowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kansas Department of Commerce reviewed more than 400 applications from the first round and more than 100 new applications from the second round. In total, more than $2 billion in funding was requested for the nearly $50 million program, demonstrating both the need for this program and the many opportunities that exist throughout the state.
“To continue our record-breaking success in attracting businesses and creating jobs in Kansas, we must invest in infrastructure and economic development,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “That’s exactly what these grants do, and I’m proud that we were able to work together, across party lines, to continue driving our state forward.”
The second round of the BASE grant program, as approved by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee, offers matching funds to address economic development opportunities with the goal of expanding the state’s base of businesses and residents.
“The State of Kansas is determined to strengthen as many communities as we possibly can,” Senate President Ty Masterson said. “These BASE grants will get more vital community projects back on track, while transforming the state’s economy.”
Funds will support infrastructure investments associated with economic development projects. In addition to funds awarded, the BASE program has generated $44 million in matching investment by public and private stakeholders for awarded projects.
“The infrastructure projects this round of funding supports will foster prosperity for future generations of Kansans,” House Speaker Dan Hawkins said. “The SPARK Committee focused on projects that set the stage for strategic long-term growth through thoughtful and targeted planning.”
County and local governments, economic development organizations, local chambers of commerce, and other stakeholders were eligible to apply for the second round of the BASE grant. Applications not awarded from the first round were also considered in the second round. There is a minimum 25% applicant match requirement and applicants were required to document how the project was delayed or affected negatively due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Communities throughout our state will receive long-lasting benefits as a result of the BASE grant program,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Local leaders proposed specific solutions to address needs in their communities and these focused investments will continue to propel our state’s historic economic growth.”
For a list of BASE grant recipients and more information on the program, click here.