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!

Educational Opportunities

Start Your Own Business Class

The Start Your Own Business Class has helped to start or expand seventy entrepreneurial businesses in the area.  If you are serious about taking your business from concept to reality, the Start Your Own Business class is one of the best tools at your disposal. Classes are held in the evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Flint Hills Technical College Main Campus. Class dates are: October 17, 19, 24, 26,  30 (the only Monday class, due to Halloween) & November 2, 7, 9, 14 and 16.
Classes will cover a wide range of topics, including: cash flow, financing, marketing, insurance, taxation, legal structures, site selection, business expansion, human resource management, daily operations, business plans, logistics, and much more.
Class spaces are limited, and due to a generous grant from ESB Financial, students are able to apply for a discounted course rate.  Normally, the Start Your Own Business Class fee would be $300, but ESB Financial has underwritten the class so scholarship recipients can receive the course education for only $99.  The SYOB Class is officially a two hour course through Flint Hills Technical College, and students are eligible to participate in additional regional competitions with the opportunity to win cash prizes to assist their business development.  Qualifying SYOB graduates may also be eligible for special zero interest loan programs, depending on a host of factors.
To sign up for the Start Your Own Business Class click HERE or forward this information to a budding entrepreneur that needs to take a tangible step towards starting their own business.
The Start Your Own Business Class is a cooperative effort between Flint Hills Technical College,the Small Business Development Center at Emporia State University and Emporia Main Street, with assistance from several local businesses that donate their time to teach specific “real world” applications to potential business owners.  The SBDC and Emporia Main Street staff donate their time to assist in entrepreneurial educational efforts to improve the prospects of individual entrepreneur and the local economy.


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.

USDA REAP- Projects below $200,000 

Historic Tax Credits and Tax Rebates

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.

USDA Low interest loans- Emporia resides within the USDA Section 3 in Kansas, and the district office made Emporia Main Street aware of a low interest loan program for businesses within our city.  USDA low interest loans are a grant to a local utility that is then loaned out to businesses at a low interest rate (usually around 4%). The USDA also has loans available for low income homes in rural areas.