The Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program.

Thank You, Main Street Sterling, for posting this video. It gives me an opportunity to tout the E-Communities initiative, which should serve as a model of what Wichita’s redevelopment ought to look like, including an excellent example of better ideas in raising funds for the development of a particular town or neighborhood or district.

from :

The Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program, created through the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship tax credit pilot program in late 2007, is the result of such a team effort involving Sterling College, the City, the School District, the Chamber of Commerce, Rice County Economic Development, and the City of Alden. The purpose of the program is to encourage entrepreneurial activity in the Sterling and Alden areas with a focus on job creation. A $300,000 entrepreneurial fund was successfully created through the Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program using creative tax credit incentive. In order to secure the fund, the team members made great efforts to publicize the purpose of the Sterling/Alden E-Communities Program to the ordinary citizens and businesspeople of the community. These community members were encouraged to contribute to the fund knowing they could receive the bulk of the money back through tax credits when they file their income tax return. The response from the community was expeditious and overwhelming. The $300,000 fund for community economic development became available shortly within four months of the commencement of the application process through the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship.

Qualifying entrepreneurial projects including startup businesses, existing business purchases and existing businesses desiring to invest in expansion may apply for funding of up to a maximum of $45,000. Two types of funding will be offered from the fund: grants and low-interest loans.
Currently, a local budding entrepreneur has already taken advantage of the fund by applying for the maximum loan of $45,000 to be used as part of larger investment to rehabilitate a vacant downtown historic building into a hotel and restaurant facilities creating new jobs for the local community. The program expects more applications from other up-and-coming entrepreneurs as they become aware of the availability and purpose of the fund for rural and regional development.

Sunflower Journeys piece: