DISTRICT DATELINE – Small businesses in Kansas will soon have greater access to critical resources to help them start or grow their businesses and create jobs, thanks to a $438,914 grant to SBA’s Kansas Small Business Development Center.
The funding was provided under a key provision of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 signed by the President last September, which provided $50 million in grants to SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) across the country to support job creation and retention within the small business community by providing in-depth business counseling and advice to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Jobs Act grants are a one-time funding intended to meet the critical need for business expansion and job creation, and are not intended to replace the core funding or the matching funds that the SBDCs require to sustain the program annually.
The grants are intended to provide access to capital/ economic gardening (marketing)/high growth firms/technology/energy efficiency. This one-time only grant to the Kansas center will allow it to:
Implement several projects that have the greatest potential to assist existing businesses increase their sales and contribute to job retention and creation. They include:
Economic Gardening Project (EGP) - designed to provide significant technical assistance to identified second-stage companies through interaction with an experienced national economic gardening team who will deliver services tailored to each business;
GIS Mapping – KSBDC consultants will be trained on how to work with a business to identify key customer demographics in order to maximize the impact of GIS Mapping. Training will also be provided to consultants on how to read and interpret the reports/maps in order to educate a business owner on how to use the reports/maps to develop and implement a marketing strategy to target potential customers;
International Trade Project (ITP) - collaboration with existing public and private sector international trade resources to provide trade counseling services to in-business clients currently not exporting.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - KSBDC team members will be trained on how to work with a business to determine if the business owner and current website are ready for SEO to maximize the impact of a contractor assisting a business with SEO. The training will cover key critical questions regarding the company business model relative to their website to determine if the business is ready for SEO, and
Innovation Strategies Project – a collaborative effort between MAMTC and the KSBDC to implement new programs in northwestern, Kan., that encourage innovation and collaboration between manufacturers, inventors, small businesses and universities to optimize new technology and stimulate economic growth .
“This is yet another example of the Small Business Jobs Act putting proven tools in the hands of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said SBA Pat Brown-Dixon, Regional Administrator, Region VII. “SBA’s extensive network of about 900 Small Business Development Centers continues to play a critical role in helping them grow businesses and create jobs. I’m pleased that these resources are being delivered quickly to hard-hit states like Kansas.”