New Application Streamlines Process for Businesses in Distressed Urban Areas
Wichita, Kansas, January 21, 2009 – Today NetWork Kansas announced changes in StartUp Kansas to streamline the application process for small businesses in distressed urban areas. StartUp Kansas was launched in August of 2006, primarily to provide funding to startup and existing businesses in rural communities (fewer than 50,000 in population) in the form of matching grants or unsecured loans that match the terms of other financing provided by a NetWork Kansas partner working on behalf of the entrepreneur.
A provision in the statute of the Kansas Economic Growth Act also allows for businesses in distressed areas of communities with populations greater than 50,000 to apply. A distressed urban area is defined as an area in which 20% or more of the total population in each census tract located within the area has an income below poverty level, as reported in the most recently completed decennial census published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The new StartUp Kansas application provides a more clearly defined process for urban applicants.
"We've been working to improve the application with several of our partners who work with businesses in distressed areas of urban communities," explained Erik Pedersen, NetWork Kansas Operations Manager. "The new application simplifies the process for them and makes it easier for them to apply."
"The new application process provides access to funding which business owners may not have had in distressed areas, specifically in parts of Wyandotte County. These funds can help a new business to open or an existing business to grow and expand. Individuals who qualify for funding can start and grow a profitable business in a distressed community, benefiting that area as well as the business owner and employees."
Entrepreneurs and existing small businesses access StartUp Kansas funding by working through their local or regional NetWork Kansas partners. These partners include small business development centers, certified development companies, city and county microloan programs, economic development agencies and other non-profit organizations charged with assisting for-profit entrepreneurs and small businesses in Kansas. Since 2006, NetWork Kansas has worked with its funding partners to provide 58 businesses with $1.2 million in StartUp Kansas matching loans and grants, and to leverage $8.3 million in additional capital from other sources.
StartUp Kansas is a service of NetWork Kansas, which was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by more than 450 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need in order to succeed. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are encouraged to visit www.networkkansas.com or call (877) 521-8600 to speak with a NetWork Kansas referral coordinator to be connected to local resource partners that can assist them.
IBSA, Inc. is one of 450 Network Kansas resource partner statewide. IBSA provides business development and support services at low or no cost to income-eligible entrepreneurs doing business in Shawnee, Wyandotte, Johnson or Leavenworth County. Visit our site for a listing of other contracting/procurement opportunities.