Sedgwick County commissioners have approved the first round of grants to small businesses to help them with operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The county received 477 applications totaling over $2.3 million.   The county’s deputy chief financial officer, Brent Shelton, said $5 million has been allocated for the Safe Operating Business Grant program.

The program was open for businesses with 50 or fewer employees, but county commissioners have agreed to remove the limitation for the second round, so businesses with any number of employees can apply for the grants, which will provide up to $5,000.    Applications will be taken through October 7th.

Shelton said county staff is working to process the first round applications and the first grants could be paid out as soon as next week.

There is also a form on Sedgwick County’s web page that will allow businesses to request personal protection equipment kits.  The applications can be made through October 7th and the kits will be distributed beginning October 12th at 14 locations.