UMKC Innovation Center Resources for Business Owners During COVID-19 Outbreak

The place for entrepreneurs offers a hotline, help and advice
Maria Meyers, executive director of the UMKC Innovation Center, talks at an event.

The UMKC Innovation Center is always a go-to for small-business owners and entrepreneurs, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more than ever.

The center, which includes KCSourceLink and the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UMKC, has added resources to help businesses throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Looking for funding updates and business help during the coronavirus outbreak? KCSourceLink has created a portal of business resources to help business owners navigate these challenging and uncertain times. Updated regularly.
  • In fact, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Funding became available for businesses in Kansas and Missouri on March 21. Call the KCSourceLink hotline at 816-235-6500 or email to get connected with resource partners that can help complete paperwork and answer your questions.
  • Are you an entrepreneur? Take this survey from KCSourceLink to help community leaders and decision makers assess your needs and activate resources during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The Missouri SBDC at UMKC continues to offer online classes to help entrepreneurs and business owners start businesses and navigate challenges.

“Typically, economic recessions trickle down to small businesses, but with this situation, restaurants and retailers are on the front end,” said Maria Meyers, executive director of the UMKC Innovation Center and founder of KCSourceLink and SourceLink. “Even when their doors might be closed, we’re here to keep financial advice and resources open.”

Entrepreneurs and small businesses create 58% of net new jobs in the Kansas City metro area. These are young and small firms with fewer than 20 employees. According to the the KCSourceLink survey data so far, our small businesses are hurting right now.

  • 75% need financial assistance.
  • 60% are worried about revenue dropping.
  • 15% are concerned they may have to close.
What consumers can do to help small business right now:
  • Buy curbside lunch/dinner from local restaurants.
  • Shop local – buy gift cards, order online
What government officials can do to help small businesses right now:
  • Provide immediate financial support that enables small business to continue paying their employees – consider community/corporate supported short-term grants
  • Help small businesses manage cash flow by delaying tax payments
  • Extend benefits to solopreneurs
What Kansas City area entrepreneurs are saying:
  • The pressure to adapt quickly is immense.
  • Our cashflow depends on clients coming in every day, there is no reserve.
  • We have had to close up shop and file for unemployment.
  • We adjusted our food service offering to delivery/pick-up/to-go only and this week had to close up completely.
  • We won’t be in business without capital help.
  • We will have to find online work to support ourselves and our business, leaving us unable to gear this back up when the virus has run its course.
  • Once things settle down, my clients will likely be busy recovering and they may have to adjust their budgets which may cut my work.
Published: Mar 23, 2020

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