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Bird City becomes E-Community

Bird City Becomes an “E-Community”

NetWork Kansas Expands “E-Community” Partnership
Seven Kansas Communities to
Leverage $1.2 Million For Entrepreneurs

Wichita, Kansas, October 29, 2008 – NetWork Kansas today announced that it has selected seven additional Kansas communities to participate in its innovative Entrepreneurship Community (E-Community) partnership, which was introduced in September, 2007. The following communities were granted $775,000 in tax credits, enabling them to raise more than $1 million in seed funding for entrepreneurs in their respective communities: Augusta; Bird City; Chase County; Kiowa County; Linn County; Marion; and Woodson County.

“Being selected as an E-Community is particularly important as we move toward rebuilding-not just in Greensburg, but throughout the county,” said Jeanette Siemens, Kiowa County Economic Development Director. “Partnership with Network Kansas is an excellent avenue to help us grow and improve our economy by encouraging entrepreneurship throughout Kiowa County and we are excited to participate.”

Each E-Community benefits from an injection of capital raised locally through the NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Tax Credit Program to help start and grow businesses in rural Kansas communities. The first six E-Community partners were granted more than $1 million in tax credits, which they used to raise $1.6 million in funding in 2007.

“We’re very excited by the progress our six pilot communities have already made,” said Erik Pedersen, NetWork Kansas Operations Manager. “They have committed funding to six businesses in a relatively short amount of time. The lessons we have learned together will help expedite the process of providing capital to entrepreneurs in these new communities.”

Each E-Community partners with NetWork Kansas to achieve the following results: 1) Through a tax credit grant, communities establish a fund for entrepreneurs and small business owners that is administered at the local level; 2) Each community identifies local, regional and state assets available to assist entrepreneurs and businesses; 3) Each community establishes a long-term tracking and accountability system to measure business and economic growth; and 4) A long-term partnership with 448 NetWork Kansas resource partners statewide provides assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

In addition to providing access to capital to these new E-Community partners, NetWork Kansas also allocated more than $150,000 of additional funding to the Anderson County (Garnett) E-Community, increasing its total investment in the existing E-Community partners to more than $1.75 million. “It is our hope that every rural community in Kansas will become an E-Community,” added Pedersen. “This will result in each community having the ability to connect any entrepreneur in their community to the expertise, education and economic resources they need.”

For more information about the NetWork Kansas E- Community partnership or the Entrepreneurship Tax Credit, visit www.networkkansas.com, or call 877.521.8600. NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by 448 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need in order to succeed.

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