Host Relief Program Provides Over $1m in Relief Funding to Shawnee County Businesses; Program Announces Donation to First Responders

At a press conference today, the Greater Topeka Partnership and GO Topeka shared how its HOST Relief Program has taken the lead to support local economic recovery by providing relief funds to Shawnee County small businesses. Since the program’s kickoff in late March 2020, a total of $1,102,710 has been distributed to 285 small businesses through HOST private donations or public grants. HOST, or Helping Others Support Topeka, was created to provide emergency funding for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing up-to-date figures on the recovery impact of the relief program, HOST announced a special gift card donation to Shawnee County first responders.

To date, HOST has:

  • Raised $709,055.94 in private donations;
  • Distributed $1,102,710 to 285 Shawnee County businesses through HOST private donations, made through the purchase of gift cards, and public grants;
  • Provided gift cards, purchased from HOST Relief recipients to over 2,300 workers in Shawnee County impacted by furloughs, reduction in hours, or layoffs.

“It was always the intention with this program to not only provide relief to Shawnee County businesses but to also build toward our economic recovery. With that in mind, the fight for recovery doesn’t end here,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka, “GO Topeka will continue to help support recovery and economic development in Shawnee County through the continued efforts of the HOST Relief Program.”

“I am extremely proud of what the HOST program has been able to accomplish in the past three months,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership. “It couldn’t have been accomplished without the remarkable leadership from the HOST donors, our staff, and corporate partners. It’s programs like this, which exemplify Topeka & Shawnee County’s amazing ability to collaborate, that will help us move closer to our recovery.”

During today’s press conference, it was also announced that HOST would donate gift cards to each Shawnee County staff member of the following first responder organizations: Topeka Fire Department, American Medical Response Team, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Topeka Police Department.

“It’s an honor to be able to provide thanks to the individuals who are on the frontlines every day, working to ensure our safety and wellbeing,” says Scott Hunsicker, owner, and president, Kansas Financial Resources, and lead organizer of the HOST Relief Program. “This is the least we can do to show them our gratitude and respect.”