Bartender Garrett Gunderson was stocking the lobby bar, the Bar Stilwell, late last week at the new 24-story Loews Kansas City Hotel. Photo by The Kansas City Star.

Loew’s Hotel opens its doors in Downtown KC

Loew’s Kansas City Hotel – the, spectacular Downtown convention hotel – officially opened its doors on Monday.

“Loews is the first convention hotel completed in Downtown since the Marriott more than 30 years ago.” according to The Kansas City Star. “The 24-story tower, at 1515 Wyandotte St., cost more than $320 million and was originally set to have its grand opening April 2. The two-month delay was in response to COVID-19.”

Monday’s opening comes after convention business in Kansas City and around the world screeched to a halt to limit outbreaks of COVID-19. Several Loews hotels are reopening the same day across the country.

“Here we are on Monday opening the doors and welcoming our guests and welcoming the citizens of Kansas City to a property that we are incredibly proud of,” said Jonathan Tisch, CEO and chairman of Loews Hotels & Co., “and we think that they will feel the same way.”

Tisch said the hotel’s guests could still enjoy some amenities even as staff members implement strident safety protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“You’ll even be able to sit in our lobby bar and have incredible views of downtown Kansas City, albeit while socially distanced,” he said.

Click here to read the complete story in The Star.

EDC reports small business relief funds still available

Here is some promising news for KCMO business owners. The KCMO Small Business Relief Loan Fund continues to help small businesses – within the city limits of Kansas City Missouri – finance operational expenses during this period of economic stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $500,000 fund is provided by the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

“While we’ve seen strong demand so far, the good news is that we still have funds available,” said T’Risa McCord, interim president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation (EDCKC).

“We want business owners to know that we’re here to help with the paperwork, requirements – to walk them through it as guides. We believe in KC businesses. Reach out if you need help.”

The fund allows for low interest rate loans and deferred payments for the first 6-12 months, with extended amortization periods of up to five years. No minimum credit score and flexible collateral requirements. Other details of the fund include:

  • Loan amounts up to $25,000
  • Up to 4.5% Interest rates
  • Zero interest and deferred payments for the first 6-12 months
  • No minimum credit score is required
  • No pre-payment penalties
  • Flexible collateral requirements
Click here to see if your small business is eligible.

Mayor eases KCMO business restrictions

Downtown and Kansas City businesses are permitted to increase their occupancy to 50% as of Sunday (5/31), Mayor Quinton Lucas announced late last week.

The new guidelines call for employers to be limited to 50% of building occupancy until at least July 5, according to The Kansas City Business Journal. Businesses in Kansas City have been operating under a 10/10/10 rule since mid-May that limited the number of customers in an establishment at one time to either 10% of building occupancy or 10 people, whichever was greater.

“As Kansas City continues our re-opening efforts, we ask all businesses and individuals to work in tandem with us to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the Mayor said. “Just because you can go to a bar, restaurant, or event, it does not mean you have to. I encourage all Kansas Citians to reflect on the role they play in protecting our vulnerable populations from this disease.”

If work prevents establishments from maintaining six feet of distance between people, such as at hair salons and restaurants, then businesses should maintain six feet of distance between areas of service and require employees to wear masks. For example, restaurant tables should stay six feet apart.

To learn more, check out these frequently asked questions, published by the Mayor’s office.