Business Enhancement

Our business enhancement programs launch entrepreneurs and help small businesses grow

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Emporia Main Street's BUSINESS ENHANCEMENT programs are implemented by a committee of volunteers along with Main Street staff. The primary goals of our business enhancement initiatives are to:

  • support, educate, and provide resources for ALL entrepreneurs and businesses throughout Emporia
  • grow a sustainable core business district downtown

Our business enhancement programs provide a wide variety of tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that strengthen Emporia's local economy.

Business Enhancement Programs

Start Your Own Business Class

If you're ready to take your business from concept to reality, the Start Your Own Business class is one of the best tools at your disposal.

Available Property Listings

We can help you find a property that's a great match for your business concept. If you own a property, contact us for a free listing!

Incubator Space

Next door to the Emporia Main Street office, this 1,100 square foot rent-free space is available to start-up businesses for a set period and includes business mentoring.

Business Consulting

Individual advice tailored to your business.

Grants, Loans & Tax Credits

Emporia Main Street provides access to wealth of financial incentives to start or expand a business, including our own low-interest loan program, matching fund opportunities, and assistance with local, state and federal financial programs.

Business Investment Guide

Created for entrepreneurs and developers, our Business Investment Guide outlines why Emporia is a great place to do business, and includes a list of available resources to get started.

Want to support budding entrepreneurs, or become an entrepreneur yourself?

Emporia Main Street is here to help your business grow. Your support also promotes overall economic development and re-investment in downtown and the community as a whole.

Business Enhancement Committee Volunteers

Shawn Honea, Chair
IM Design Group

James Willingham
Emporia State University

Rob Scheib
USD 253

Tom Mains
ValuNet FIBER

Lori Andrews
ESB Financial

Bruce Boettcher
BG Consultants

Jana Marstall
USD 253

Interested in joining the Business Enhancement Committee?

The Business Enhancement Committee perfect for those who are passionate about business, fueling job growth in Emporia, and helping entrepreneurs launch or expand. Click the button below if you'd like to join!

Business Education

Vacancy Development

By Jessica Buchholz | June 2, 2022

Identifying our actual supply can help satisfy regional demand. Emporia Main Street worked with Simon Stewart, an Emporia State University analytics intern to develop a research project. The proposed project would identify both commercial and residential vacant buildings and vacant lots inside the city limits of Emporia. Development of the project proposal required partnerships with…

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What Do Local Consumers Want?

By Jessica Buchholz | March 4, 2022

Emporia reaches out to the general public concerning consumer preferences/wants/needs on a regular basis. Over the past two years, we have restricted those “asks” to obtain feedback on pandemic response and/or very specific events. The Business Enhancement committee developed a consumer preferences survey that was sent out through our email listing and social media channels.…

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Show of Hands: The Entrepreneurial Funding Opportunity for Every Business Startup or Significant Expansion in Lyon County

By Casey Woods | February 7, 2022

A couple of years ago, Emporia Main Street had an opportunity to participate in a study by the Brookings Institute. The study focused on the practices of three Main Street programs in the rural communities of Laramie, Wyoming; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Emporia, Kansas. While researchers were busy studying us, each community got the chance…

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The Value of Mentorship

By Casey Woods | January 31, 2022

Mentorships are one of the oldest and most successful forms of personal and organizational development. Finding individuals that can be open and honest with you about your ideas, goals, and strategies can help you fulfill your potential and avoid costly missteps. At its core, the concept of mentorship relationships allow the mentee to view issues…

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Consumer Data Collection – Some information from your customers can make a huge difference in your upcoming marketing efforts.

By Casey Woods | December 16, 2021

Retailers, restaurants, service businesses and organizations often spend a great deal of time trying to climb inside the minds of their customers. Effectively understanding how your customers think and what motivates them is critical to any marketing effort. Additional insights that can trigger an action can lead to sales and loyalty. Before you collect data…

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A Soft Spoken Community Win: The story of one local family that brought a building back from the brink of demolition to expand a unique local business.

By Jessica Buchholz | November 17, 2021

Emporia is the type of community that constantly faces opportunities and threats. Individuals who go above and beyond the call often make the difference in the general direction of the region. Instead of focusing on business advice, design information, upcoming events, or our other general topics, this newsletter article will focus on a family that…

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