Geary County Named as a NetWork Kansas 2015 Entrepreneurship (E-) Community
Nov. 02, 2015
NetWork Kansas announced that Geary County through Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development was selected as a 2015 Entrepreneurship (E-) Community and has been awarded $110,000.00 in tax credits, enabling the Geary County E-Community to raise $146,667.00 to advance and establish local businesses. Geary County joins a group of fifty-three communities.
“We strongly believe that entrepreneurs are and will continue to be key drivers of our local economy, and we’re excited about the additional resources and support that E-Community designation will allow us to offer Geary County entrepreneurs,” says Greg Miller, Economic Development Director, Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce.
The E-Community Partnership, now in its eighth year, has grown from six communities in 2007 to fifty-three in 2015, including two metropolitan E-Communities. The NetWork Kansas E-Community Partnership allows a town, a cluster of towns, or an entire county to raise seed money for local entrepreneurs through donations from individuals or businesses within the community. During the first eight years of the E-Community partnership, more than $8.3 million have been raised. These funds are estimated to generate more than $38 million of investment in rural businesses across Kansas.
The Geary County E-Community leadership team includes members of the Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce economic development advisory committee. The leadership team will determine the strategy and vision for the E-Community. A separate financial review board will evaluate prospective loan applications from local businesses.
“It's exciting to add these five innovative rural communities to our E-Community family,” says NetWork Kansas Vice President of Entrepreneurship Erik Pedersen. "Across the state, more than 500 local leaders and volunteers in more than four dozen Kansas communities participating in the E-Community Partnership are helping to grow a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce has until mid-December to raise donations in exchange for the tax credits awarded to Geary County. Interested donors should contact Susan Jagerson, Economic Development Specialist at (785) 762-2632 about tax credit availability. The tax credits are valued at 75% of donations and offset state income tax liabilities for individuals or businesses.
These funds will then be available beginning in January 2016 to be awarded to local businesses as matching loans. In addition to the establishment of the E-Community loan fund, Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce will also complete a series of strategic activities during 2016 designed to enhance the effectiveness of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to drive long-term economic growth.
A total of five communities were named as 2015 E-Communities. The following communities were granted a collective total of $375,000 in tax credits, enabling them to raise $500,000 to be loaned to local businesses in their community. The 2015 E-Communities are: El Dorado, Geary County, Hodgeman County, Rooks County, and Russell County.
Since 2007, NetWork Kansas E-Communities have loaned or granted more than $6.7 million to businesses in their communities through this funding source and leveraged an additional $30.9 million dollars, for a total investment of $37.6 million dollars into businesses in E-Communities. This funding has spurred the creation or retention of approximately 1,400 full and part-time jobs in these same communities and has immeasurable positive effects on the entrepreneurial ecosystems of these participating areas.
To learn more about the Geary County E-Community contact:
To learn more about the E-Community Partnership contact:
Erik Pedersen, Vice President of Entrepreneurship
About NetWork Kansas:
NetWork Kansas 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 500 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. For more information about NetWork Kansas, visit www.networkkansas.com, or call 877.521.8600.