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Who We Are & What We Do

The Southeast Kansas Prosperity Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 created in 2005 as a result of the Kansas Economic Growth Act. It is a partnership with SEK, Inc., Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission, See-Kan RC&D, and Mid-America Certified Development Company.
Twelve southeast Kansas counties are represented in the organization: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson.
Foundation Board members, who each represent one of the partner organizations, are:Bruce Fairbank, President, Dennis Arnold, Vice President, Kathryn Richard, Secretary, Jitka Durman, Treasurer, Jessica Gordon, Stacy Haines, Kris Marple, Gwen Martin, Marsha Wallace and Randy Robinson.

The primary focus of the Foundation is two-fold:

  • to provide access to capital for existing and startup small businesses through loan funds.
  • to provide financial support for and partner with local and regional agencies and organizations whose focus is on community and economic development needs.

Access to Capital

Three loan funds are administered by the Foundation:

Revolving Loan Program

This program is for both existing and startup businesses in the 12-county Southeast Kansas region. It is designed to partner with local and regional financial institutions to provide access to capital. Features of the program include:

  • Maximum loan amount of $60,000.
  • Uses of funds include infrastructure improvements, land acquisition, building construction/renovation, equipment, inventory, payroll and other working capital items.
  • Must be leveraged with other lending partners, typically local banks, SBA, USDA, and local micro-lending resources.
  • Owner equity required.
  • Fixed interest rate generally capped at 3% over New York prime.

Application guidelines can be obtained from local economic development professionals or from the Mid- America CDC.

Microloan Fund

This program was established to provide high risk financing to mom and pop businesses, in the 12-county Southeast Kansas region, many of which are startups. Features of the program include:

  • Minimum loan amount of $10,000.
  • Uses of funds include infrastructure improvements, land acquisition, building construction/renovation, equipment, inventory, startup operating cost and working capital.
  • Leveraging with other lending partners encouraged. However, microloan can be used to finance applicant needs that cannot be met from lending partners, up to 100% of applicant needs if other resources are not available.
  • Owner equity (minimum of 5%), collateral and personal guarantees required.
  • Must create or retain at least one full-time job for each $10,000 loaned.
  • Fixed interest rate generally priced at New York Prime less3%, with a floor of 4%.
  • Must work with the regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to develop a business plan.

Application guidelines can be obtained from local economic development professionals or from the Mid- America CDC.

Small Community Downtown Retail Building Renovation/Purchase Program

The purpose of this program is to help rural communities of 5,000 or less in the 12-county Southeast Kansas region keep existing buildings in use. Many have buildings that are unused because of condition or uninvolved ownership. The Foundation will work with local parties who want to refurbish/construct buildings in commercial/retail districts. The Foundation reviews requests from local groups to provide either equity or loans as part of the financing necessary to return the building to use. Other features of the program include:

  • Funding for any project is limited to $40,000 but cannot exceed 130% of county appraised value for the building.
  • 80% loan, 20% grant (grant funds disbursed on a reimbursement basis).
  • $200 non-refundable application fee to offset building inspection costs.
  • Must have rehab plan and business plan.
  • Must create or retain minimum of one job.

Application guidelines can be obtained from local economic development professionals or from the Mid- America CDC.

Community and Economic Development Projects

The Foundation provides financial support, generally in the form of matching funds, for projects that meet community or economic development needs. In the past, these projects have included regional leadership training, entrepreneurial development, business coaching, tourism and agritourism. Local and regional agencies and organizations are encouraged to present their proposals to the Foundation for funding consideration.