The City of Wichita has announced the award of $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support Wichita State University’s Office of Innovation and New Ventures’ formation of the Small Business Digital Transformation (SBDT) Program, which will address technology gaps in the local business ecosystem.
Small businesses were hit hardest during the pandemic. A vast majority of small businesses are in-person businesses with storefronts that sell food or merchandise or are service industries where there is significant face-to-face interaction. Most of these businesses were unable to operate as usual during the pandemic, and many were forced to shut down.
“If these businesses had access to tech talent and resources to shift to a digital platform, they not only could have survived but possibly thrived and competed against large corporations that had the financial means to pivot to digital quickly,” said Dr. Jeremy Patterson, executive director of Office of Innovation and New Ventures.