The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDCKC) and the City of Kansas City’s KC BizCare office are thrilled to announce the launch of the KC Small Business Capital Programs, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at nurturing the growth of small businesses and startups in Kansas City, Missouri.
The KC Small Business Capital Programs’ mission is to establish a thriving small business ecosystem that facilitates capital readiness and provides accessible starting capital. The program’s primary goal is to bolster Kansas City’s capacity to foster the development of healthy small businesses that play a vital role in the local economy.
“Entrepreneurship is a key strategy in the EDC‘s plan to achieve strategic economic mobility throughout Kansas City,” said Tracey Lewis, EDCKC President and CEO. “Collaborating with the City of Kansas City allows us to reach a portion of our community that does not traditionally receive capital resourcing. We are proud to be a part of this partnership.”
This initiative targets privately held businesses in Kansas City, Missouri, with fewer than ten (10) employees, recognizing their significant contribution to the community and economy. By offering a range of financial support options, the KC Small Business Capital Program seeks to empower these businesses with the resources they need to succeed and grow.
“The implementation of the capital programs will help us begin to overcome longstanding data deficiencies that have consistently hindered our office and local ESO’s ability to advocate for additional resources and support for small businesses” said Nia Richardson, Managing Director for the KC BizCare Office with the City of Kansas City, MO. “The data obtained will be invaluable to our new Small Business Task Force in advocating for equitable policy changes that benefit small businesses.”
Funding to establish the capital programs was provided by the City of Kansas City, Missouri via its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds through ordinance 221031 in December of 2022, sponsored by Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw and Mayor Quinton Lucas authorizing $500,000 for the grants and loan programs.
The KC SMB Capital Program is also funded in part by the Ewing Kauffman Foundation $250K Access to Capital Grant (2022), National League of Cities $15K City Inclusive Entrepreneurship Program grant (2023), and the US Conference of Mayors $10K Dollarwise Grant (2023).
The partnership included the creation of a new role at EDCKC for small businesses, Capital Access Manager, responsible for administering the capital programs and the Capital Advisory Committee, which will help oversee and sustain the capital programs.
“In my role as Capital Access Manager, I am here to work 1:1 with small business owners. Our goal is to understand their business and capital needs, advocate for better small business policy, and increase the amount of funding and resources for early-stage businesses in Kansas City,” said Regina Sosa, EDCKC Capital Access Manager. “This is a unique access to capital program. We will learn a lot about the state of small businesses in KCMO.”
The types of capital offered via these programs will include:
- Kiva Kansas City – Crowdfunded microloans with 0% interest, providing small businesses with the opportunity to access up to $15,000 in capital.
- Micro-Business Grants – Businesses with less than 10 employees in need of expansion or poised for growth can apply for grants of $10,000, $15,000, or $25,000.
- Loan Application Preparation – In partnership with the Prospect Business Association, the program offers technical assistance to help small businesses navigate the complexities of bank loan applications.
- SMB Development Accounts – In collaboration with the Holy Rosary Credit Union, this component of the program provides savings accounts with a 4:1 match, allowing eligible businesses to secure up to $10,000 in funding.
The Small Business Capital Program has a straightforward application process to ensure accessibility and inclusivity:
- General Eligibility In-Take Form: Begin by completing the general eligibility in-take form through the Beam platform.
- Program Specific Application(s): After the initial eligibility assessment, applicants will be directed to complete program-specific application(s) through the Beam platform.
- Review and Selection: A dedicated review panel will evaluate applications, selecting businesses that align with the program’s mission and goals.
- Technical Assistance: Selected businesses will receive technical assistance to craft a business plan, ensuring they are well-prepared for success.
- Payment: Once the application process is complete and approved, successful applicants will receive their capital infusion.
- Progress Reporting: The program encourages recipients to provide progress reports, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the funding period.
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.
We invite you to attend one of our upcoming information sessions:
- 2/7 at KC BizCare, 414 E 12th St., 12:30 – 3:30 PM
- 2/27 at Latinx Education Collaborative, 2203 Lexington Ave., 4:30 – 5:30 PM
- 2/29 at Latinx Education Collaborative, 2203 Lexington Ave., 9:00 – 10 AM
Applications for the Micro-Business Grants open February 1!