The Greater Topeka Partnership’s and GO Topeka’s HOST Relief Program expended its funding in April 2021, after distributing more than $1 million in public and private relief to Shawnee County Small Businesses since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the program’s kickoff in late March 2020, a total of $1,247,410 was distributed to 350 small businesses through HOST private donation or public grants. HOST, or Helping Others Support Topeka, was created to provide emergency, recovery funding for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout the pandemic, Topeka proved itself to be a survivor,” said Scott Hunsicker, lead HOST organizer and owner/president of Kansas Financial Resources, Inc. “This community came together like never before to provide small businesses with over $1 million in support. This allowed many to keep their doors open, rent paid and employees compensated. The strength and dedication of this community continues leaves me in awe.”

“It was always the intention of this program to not only provide relief to Shawnee County businesses but to also build toward our economic recovery. The fight might not be over, but this effort has made our economy more resilient because of the needed relief it provided,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka.

“This effort would not have been possible without the contributions of the 40-plus private donors and the collaboration of the JEDO board,” said Barbara Stapleton, vice president of business retention and talent initiatives, GO Topeka. “Thank you for your dedication and generous support.”

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