Start Your Own Business
Emporia Main Street has several resources available to Entrepreneurs to start, expand, or enhance your business! Through a variety of educational opportunities, loan programs, historic tax credits, and tax rebates the staff at Emporia Main Street is ready to help you and your business set up for success!
This years Start Your Own Business Class will begin on Monday, October 7th at Flint Hills Technical College. This collaboration between Flint Hills Technical College, the Small Business Development Center at Emporia State University, and Emporia Main Street has helped start or expand over 75 businesses in the region. Success in entrepreneurial development programs is measured by actual entrepreneurial development, and no single initiative within the region has reported the impact of SYOB.
This years class will consist of Monday/Thursday classes from October 7 through December 12th. Classes (unless otherwise specified) will take place on Flint Hills Technical College main campus from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Each class will contain basic subject matter presented from one of the three presenters (Rob Gilligan, Lisa Brumbaugh of the Small Business Development Center, and/or Casey Woods of Emporia Main Street), followed by a presentation from local practitioners in the category of discussion for each class. Classes can be taken for “credit” from Flint Hills Technical College, or as a training course without class credit. The training course option allows students to register for the class for just $100, due to the continued financial support of ESB Financial. Those taking the class for credit hours through Flint Hills Technical College can register for $100, but additional fees may apply. Due to the individualized attention required in the Start Your Own Business course the class can hold a maximum of sixteen people.
If you want to start your own business in the future, the SYOB course is the first solid step towards making your dream a reality. If you are an existing business looking to expand your operations or improve your existing entity, the Start Your Own Business course is a helpful tool. If you know someone that is a natural entrepreneur (they can spot opportunities, mitigate threats, understand profitability, have a strong work ethic, are innovative, have a support system), forwarding this information might be the incentive needed to get started. If you are an existing business and have a rock star employee, the Start Your Own Business class may ingrain the skills necessary for your staff to aid in future expansion efforts.
Business Incubator Program
What is Incubation? The process of incubation typically provides tangible resources to entrepreneurs in startup or growth phases of their operation. Emporia Main Street offers the following business incubation assistance:
1. Offering mixed space at free or reduced rent at 729 Commercial Street.- Cash is always short at the beginning of a entrepreneurial venture. When a lot of capital is going out the door without inflows to refill coffers, businesses can fold pretty quickly. Some business types take a while to generate a positive cash flow, and without a professional space they can operate from at an affordable rent rate, ventures can fail before they really get started. Emporia Main Street’s incubator space offers the first six months rent free, the second six months are $400 in rent per month, and the third (final) six months are $800 per month. Tenants are responsible for their own utilities, and a portion of the property taxes for the rented area. ValuNet Fiber will donate high speed internet and phone access for tenants (renters will receive a monthly bill showcasing the value of the donation). The maximum incubation duration is eighteen (18) months. The lease can be broken early without penalty. The 729 Commercial Street address is on a high traffic corner, with both corner and ADA central access points to maximize foot traffic and visibility.
2. Providing access to support for business development purposes- Incubated businesses are required to report progress to Emporia Main Street to better prepare for a permanent placement. Local Emporia Main Street member service businesses have offered services at free or reduced costs to help start businesses on a solid foundation.
3. Engaging entrepreneurial specific education that is outcome based- Through Emporia Main Street’s affiliation with groups like Network Kansas, the Small Business Development Center, Kansas Works, and local educational institutions, Emporia Main Street can assist incubated businesses with targeted training to enhance business viability.
4. Generating capital resources for startup growth- Emporia Main Street works with a variety of alternative funding sources to help entrepreneurs start and expand their business concepts. Throughout the incubation process, Emporia Main Street will assist the incubated business in identifying financial assistance that results in growth and permanent placement.
Interested in setting up Shop? Click here for the Business Incubator Application
Please return your application to 727 Commercial Street or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Loan and Grant Programs
Community Development Block Grants- CDBG funds are applied for through city governments and can be used for revitalization efforts, and in some cases a loan pool.
E-Community- Another potential loan pool, E-Community mimics local funds (like IWW or Trusler) loaned out to businesses in a community defined area (like a city or county). Funds for the loan pool are raised through the sale of tax credits which form an account for a specific entity. E-Community funds do require a funding match.
Kansas Main Street Incentives Without Walls – Administered through the local Emporia Main Street ProgramZero interest loan is a 3:1 matching loan up to $20,000 within a defined district. Emporia Main Street fills out the IWW application for businesses, but there are some pieces of information required from applicants. Contact the Emporia Main Street office for details.
Network Kansas Loan Program-As a network Kansas Partner, Emporia Main Street can apply for funds that match the terms of other local loan funds (like IWW or Trusler) in a 60/40 split.
Trusler Loan Program– A privately funded zero interest loan pool donated by the Trusler Foundation and administered through Emporia Main Street. This loan pool can be used on any commercial property in Emporia, but it’s policies mimic Incentives Without Walls funds. Contact the Emporia Main Street office for details.
Emporia Neighborhood Revitalization Program – This program offers a property tax rebate on properties in certain areas that receive revitalization investments. Contact the Emporia Main Street office for details.
Federal Historic Tax Credits- These 20% federal tax credits are similar to the state Historic Tax Credits, but are used less frequently and on larger projects. The National Historic Tax Credits are non-transferable and do require that buildings are either on the national register or are a contributor within a historic district.
Kansas Historic Tax Credits- We are hoping to pursue a historic district that would allow for the expanded use of this 25% (for profit) or 30% (not for profit) state tax credit. These tax credits can be used on qualified expenditures in historic buildings or buildings deemed as “contributors” within historic districts. These tax credits can even be used to revitalize current non-contributing buildings to make them a “contributor” to the aesthetic of a district. Things like plumbing, electrical, air conditioning and other mechanical issues are typically covered under this program. Historic Tax Credits are popular enough that a series of developers specialize in their use. We have had inquiries from developers about a historic district in Emporia, but obviously we haven’t been able to capitalize on their interest due to the lack of a district. State Historic Tax Credits are transferable (meaning you can sell the credits for cash).
New Market Tax Credits- Common on the coasts and larger urban areas, the New Market Tax Credits are just now being used in Kansas. This 35% tax credit can be used in census tracts deemed “distressed” or “severely distressed”, which is virtually everywhere with the exception of properties west of Industrial Road.