Emporia Main Street: Start/Expand a Business Check out some of the programs below designed to help provide incentives for your small business. There are also classes through the Small Business Developmentcenter and the Flint Hills Technical Colleges “Start Your Own Business” class, individual consulting opportunities and a host of other areas in which we can help you!  Emporia is a community that encourages entrepreneurship, and we are here to help new and existing businesses meet their goals!



2013 Start Your Own Business Brochure  


Emporia Neighborhood Revitalization Program – This program offers a property tax rebate on properties in certain areas that receive revitalization investments. (pick up a form in the Main Street office)

Kansas Main Street Incentives Without Walls – Administered through the local Emporia Main Street Program


Cooper Carts recently received an IWW loan.


Zero 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. See Emporia Main Street for details.



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. (no link, but we have information available in the office)

Network Kansas-As a network Kansas Partner, Emporia Main





Flint Hills Music recently received a Network Kansas Loan.

Street can apply for funds that match the terms of other local loan funds (like IWW or Trusler) in a 60/40 split. 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. 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).



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.
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.
Efficiency Kansas- More low interest loans or grants are available through Efficiency Kansas for energy efficient upgrades to existing structures.

USDA REAP- Projects below $200,000





High Gear was one of the first projects in Kansas to receive REAP tax credits.


REAP programs provide tax credits for upgrades on structures that have an energy efficient component to them.  Recently, High Gear in downtown Emporia utilized REAP to receive a tax credit on upgrades on electrical systems and other efforts undertaken during the remodeling of their building.



Similar to the under $200,000 program with some different forms.  Luckily, we have access to USDA representatives that are happy to help businesses through the application process.



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.

JOBS (Joint Opportunities for Building Success) Grants-These grants can be applied for through local banks that are





Scott Dorcas recently received Trusler Loan Funds to help purchase and renovate Thompson Auto Repair.


Up to $25,000 per application can be used for economic development or other revitalization efforts, if funds are granted.



HOPE VI Funding- Specific to Main Street Cities, Hope VI funds are a grant that can be used to create housing within a designated district.  Currently, two Kansas Cities (El Dorado and McPherson) are in the process of applying for Hope VI funds for building redevelopment and upper story development projects.  This is a HUD program, so some housing requirements apply to the utilization of these funds. However, because the standards for housing are federal in nature, the median income of Emporia would fit well within housing guidelines.
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.
Local Community Foundations- Entities like the Emporia Community Foundation, Trusler Foundation and others are a source of capital for many community improvement initiatives.
Local Sources of Volunteers-  Emporia Main Street, ESU programs, local service clubs, churches, youth organizations and other entities can help with clean up labor in certain instances.