The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce will start taking applications for the Riley County CARES small business grant program on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.. (KMAN photo)

Riley County and the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce will soon begin taking applications for the approximately $2.5 million Riley County CARES small business grant program.
This program, which is part of the first round of CARES Act funding, will allow eligible Riley County businesses to receive up to $15,000 in grant funds. If the business is owned by mostly minorities, women, disadvantaged or veterans, then it can receive an additional 10 percent.
The window for application submissions will go from 1 p.m. on Sept. 24 until 5 p.m on Nov. 2.
Daryn Soldan, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce economic development director, says he thinks this program will significantly help local organizations.
“You have businesses right next to each other that are being impacted differently,” Soldan said. “You have entire industries that are feeling the brunt of a lot of what’s gone on. So I think for some folks, this is going to be significant.”
While the application window will not open for a few days, Soldan says applicants should be ready to go before it opens.
“You don’t want to be starting to fill out the application for the first time on Thursday at one o’clock when it opens,” Soldan said. “At that point, you’ll want to have gathered the important information and gathered the documentation on qualifying expenses and have all of that material together.”

To qualify for this program, businesses must have a physical location within Riley County, employ and pay no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees and not be a publicly-traded company or non-profit organization.

Businesses can spend the grants they receive through this program on certain COVID-19 related expenses that were paid for between March 1 and Nov. 2 of 2020.

Reconciliations of how grant funds were spent need to be submitted to the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce by Nov. 2.

More information about the application process, program eligibility and qualifying expenses, visit the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce website at

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