Four Micro-Businesses Receive Grant Funding & Applications  Are Open for A New Savings Match Program + Loan Preparation 

In Business Development, Entrepreneurs by EDCKC Staff

The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDCKC) is thrilled to announce four grant recipients for the first phase of the Micro-Business Grant Program, part of the KC Small Business Capital Programs, a collaboration between EDCKC and KC BizCare, which launched in February of 2024.

The Micro-Business Grant Program is one of several programs available to entrepreneurs in Kansas City, Missouri as part of The Kansas City Small Business (KC SMB) Capital Programs, looking for technical assistance and/or capital support. The other three include: Kiva Kansas City, Loan Application Preparation, and Small Business Development Accounts (IDAs).

The four grant recipients were chosen by a selection committee of five representatives from various entrepreneurial support organizations, financial institutions, and business leaders. Applications were scored on evaluation criteria and selection committee members collaborated to narrow down the top four businesses.

“We’re excited to contribute to the growth of small businesses in Kansas City.” said EDCKC President and CEO, Tracey Lewis. “The four businesses selected by the committee showcase the creativity and innovation that are found throughout our city. This program is one of many initiatives to provide gap funding and educational resources for emerging businesses in our community.”

The four grant recipients include:

  • The Next Paige (Elaina Paige Thomas), $25,000 – Full-service talent management agency, media resource center and event space.
  • Patrice’s Culinary Collective (Dr. Karen Boyd), $10,000 – PCC’s mission is bringing together people through food, offering culinary teaching services and a wide variety of bakery, meal, and appetizer products and catering services.
  • Bliss Books and Wine (La’Nesha Frazier), $10,000 – Independently owned bookstore and community gathering place bridging the gap between social drinking and introverted reading.
  • Mattie’s Foods (Arvelisha Woods) $10,000 – Vegan manufacturing company specializing in high quality plant-based retail products and catering.

Utilizing the foundations of the Kauffman FastTrac program, grant recipients will also receive technical assistance focused on collateral and business assessments, business plan development or reconstruction, feasibility, and financial structuring. Additionally, they will set SMART goals and a Tactical Improvement Plan with a focus on expense and repayment accountability plans. This work includes 10 hours of technical assistance with program partner, Entrepreneur Business Basics.

Applications for the second phase of the Micro-Business Grant Program will open Summer 2024. Interested companies must be Kansas City, Missouri-based businesses operating prior to January 1, 2023, with ten (10) employees or less.

“Collaborating with the KC SMB Capital Programs was an immensely rewarding experience. Their efficiency and provision of essential resources greatly contributed to the success of my business. The application process was thorough yet approachable, and I am immensely thankful for their support in fostering the growth of The Next Paige within the Kansas City Creative Community. This grant will make an immediate impact on Kansas City’s talent by offering a secure environment for further education, enhancement, and networking opportunities.” – Elaina Paige Thomas, owner of The Next Paige

“The first quarter of the year is hard for most businesses, and extremely hard for small businesses. This year was no different for Bliss. This grant is a lifeline for us; allowing us to stabilize and catch up on our expenses and meet our goal to hire additional employees”. – La’Nesha Frazier, owner of Bliss Books and Wine

Applications for Small Business Development Accounts and Loan Application Preparation Programs Are Now Open

In addition to the Micro-Business Grants, more support is available via the KC Small Business Capital Programs.

Applications are open until April 30th for up to 20 Kansas City, MO-based businesses to join the innovative savings match program called: Small Business Development Accounts (SMBDAs). The goal of this program is to create healthy financial habits, like budgeting and having an emergency business fund.
The SMBDAs are a spin on traditional Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), which have traditionally been used to help individuals save money towards an asset that will increase financial independence, like a house, education, or car.

This savings match program requires entrepreneurs to save a minimum of $2,500 over a four-month period. Once the savings minimum is met, the entrepreneurs will receive a grant match of $10,000.
Holy Rosary Credit Union (HRCU) is the financial entity that will be holding the savings accounts. HRCU will also provide educational financial resources to program participants, in addition to technical assistance provided by Entrepreneur Business Basics, the program partner.

“Holy Rosary is excited to be a part of this unique grant opportunity for small business owners. The chance to receive a 4 to 1 match on savings is a rare gift. Holy Rosary is honored to work with grantees along their journey to increase their banking capacity and grow their businesses,” said Carole Wight, President of Holy Rosary Credit Union.

Additionally, the Loan Application Preparation Program, for KCMO based-businesses, older than 3 years, planning on applying for a bank loan over $25,000 within the next 12 months is accepting applications. This program includes technical assistance for a successful loan application with program partner, Prospect Business Association.

The KC Small Business Capital Programs represent a crucial step toward fostering a resilient and vibrant small business community in Kansas City. By offering a diverse array of financial support options and an efficient application process, the program aims to drive economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the city.

For more information about the KC Small Business Capital Programs, eligibility criteria, and application details, please visit or contact