WHAT IS AN E-COMMUNITY?

A NetWork Kansas E-Community has made a commitment to cultivating an entrepreneurial environment by identifying and developing resources to help local entrepreneurs start or grow businesses. Selected communities partner with NetWork Kansas to establish a locally-administered loan fund to assist entrepreneurs with capital, to increase connectivity to resources available to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses, to initiate activities to generate entrepreneurial development, and to participate in a statewide partnership with other E-Communities.

The E-Community Partnership has grown from six communities in 2007 to 64 through 2019. More than $21.3 million has been loaned to over 630 businesses leveraging an additional $98.9 million of additional capital (bank loans, owner down payment, resource partner loans, etc.).

Goals of the E-Community Partnership

  • Grow a flourishing, sustainable entrepreneurial environment supportive of business startups and expansions
  • Engage and/or develop entrepreneurial resources to meet identified community and business needs
  • Create a revolving loan fund to provide matching loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses with local control of decisions and terms
  • Forge a community vision centered around entrepreneurship as a tool for economic development

Components of an E-Community

A NetWork Kansas E-Community has made a decision to proactively pursue entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy.  The following components are present in all 60 E-Communities:

  • Local leadership teams, committed to meeting regularly to provide the overall direction and leadership for the E-Community and to discuss ways to create a flourishing environment
  • Local financial review board, tasked with acting as the loan committee for E-Community loan applications
  • Locally-controlled revolving loan fund
  • Active engagement with local sources of public and private funding
  • Access to a statewide network of over 500 partners, focusing on connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners to the education, expertise and economic resources they need
  • Access to entrepreneurship programming designed to benefit different types of businesses
  • A marketing fund to support the development and/or implementation of special projects and initiatives

THE HARVEY COUNTY E-COMMUNITY

The Harvey County Entrepreneurship Community loan program was created through the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship Tax Credit Program and applied for by the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce with designation being awarded in 2011. The Harvey County Entrepreneurship Community loan program was created through the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship Tax Credit Program and Network Kansas.  The program is administered by the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce for any businesses located in Harvey County.

The purpose of the E-Community program is to provide low  interest loans to entrepreneurs wishing to start, purchase or expand a business in Harvey County.  The loans are to be used in partnership with a financial institution and/or a Network Kansas partner as the “final piece” to complete the puzzle or “fill the gap” of financing a business start-up or expansion.

The program  underwent a major revision that allows financial institutions to be the 40% loan partner with the E-Community Loan.  The minimum loan amount is $3,000 and the maximum is $45,000.

Example:
Capital needed                        $20,000.00
Bank Loan  -40%                    ($8,000.00)
E-Community – 60%              $12,000.00

To utilize the maximum 60% available from the E-Community Loan Fund there is a 40% match required from either a bank or a Network Kansas Fund Partner.

Guidelines

Qualification Criteria: 

  • Anyone wishing to start, purchase or expand a business in Harvey County
  • Must be a member of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Preference will be given to projects that create quality jobs, increase economic benefits and improve property values and design

Use of Funds: 

  • Purchase of business equipment
  • Purchase of business inventory
  • Purchase of real estate
  • Working capital
  • Existing inventory

Fees: 

  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee

Repayment: 

  • 7 year maximum term—length will be determined by amount borrowed
  • No penalty for early repayment

Other 

  • Minimum loan request is $3,000 with a $45,000 maximum amount available per applicant business.
  • Funding is subject to 5% interest– rates are structured to match those of acceptable Network Partners (a list is available on the application) + a $35 monthly processing fee.
  • In order to fill out an application and receive more detailed information, please contact Pam Stevens at the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce by calling (316) 283-2560, or emailing her at pam@newtonchamberks.org.

The Loan Process

A financial Review Board will use a scoring rubric for all applications made for funds through the E-Community Loan Program.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Financial Soundness
  • Owner/Operator Experience
  • Business Plan
  • Projected Growth & Economic Impact
  • Business Development Partnerships
  • Quality of Life Impact
  • Owner/3rd Party Funding
  • Community Commitment

Harvey County E-Community Economic Development Vision Goal

Continue to support the collaborative business environment and provide resources to encourage entrepreneurship and expansion of existing businesses. 

Additional Info

Loan funds may not be used for:

  • Paying off or refinancing existing debt
  • Salary or owner’s draw
  • Payroll taxes
  • Personal vehicles

Businesses That Do Not Qualify:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Academic institutions
  • Gambling concerns
  • Floor planning concerns (i.e. wholesale auto inventory financing)
  • Speculative concerns
  • Lending or investment institutions
  • Multilevel marketing or pyramid sales

Applicants who are not eligible:

  • Convicted of felony offense
  • Past due on school loans
  • Past due on child support payments