What is the Home Grown Campaign?

The Home Grown Campaign is designed to raise capital to grow local business and employment in Emporia, foster entrepreneurship and calculate risk-taking to build a stronger community.

Emporia Main Street (EMS) launched the Home Grown Capital Campaign in 2015 to fund the construction of a new mixed use office space and business incubator in Downtown Emporia. Through the support of our Board of Directors, the City of Emporia, Lyon County, and numerous individuals the capital campaign raised over $750,000 and construction of the new facility was completed in 2018. Ongoing donations to the Capital Campaign continue to fund the Business Incubator and business development programs.

How does the new EMS facility benefit Emporia?

727 Commercial Street Floor Plan
The Nelson Family Building Floor Plan - Office spaces, business incubator, and fabrication lab

Located at 727 Commercial, directly west of the Granada Lofts, the new EMS space houses the EMS Business Incubator, Dirty Kanza headquarters, and the Emporia Main Street offices.

1. The location provides a premier space for the Business Incubator program. Its visibility on Commercial Street, its access to parking, and the technology incorporated into the new space gives a start-up business 18 months to create a viable and sustainable business before moving to an appropriate existing space.

2. Business incubator programs have proven to be powerful tools in communities with the size and dynamics of Emporia. Homegrown businesses have the benefit of local control, decision making and investing more robustly in the life of the community they call home.

3. Dirty Kanza has become an Emporia brand thanks to the thousands it draws annually to its signature event—the Dirty Kanza 200—and its growing national and international presence. The EMS New Space is home to this organization which makes an annual economic impact of more the $3 million in Emporia and the region. Its home in the space serves to add a more professional atmosphere that will improve connectivity with national companies that will impact the regional economy.

4. As the advocate and facilitator for community development, the new location will meet future needs of EMS as we grow beyond the more than $94 million of investments in downtown Emporia.

Ways to Make a Charitable Gift

A fund has been established at the Emporia Community Foundation to accept and direct funds to the Emporia Main Street Home Grown campaign. EMS’s annual operations are funded through individuals and business membership programs, special event fundraising, major gift solicitation, and city and county support.

To make a gift by check and complete a pledge form please stop by the current Main Street Office at 727 Commercial Street. To make a gift electronically, click the Donate button below:

For gifts of securities, personal property, real property, trusts, insurance, bequests or other charitable gifts, please contact the Emporia Community Foundation for more information at (620) 342-9304.


For every $1 given to Emporia Main Street, we generate...

City return on investment
County return on investment
Regional return on investment

Your contributions to the HomeGrown Campaign support local entrepreneurs with the following:

Public Advocacy


Partnerships with Investors

Help with tax credits

Property Aquisition

Navigating Implementation