As business owners look for ways to grow, they may not realize there are local funding resources available for all types of companies and industries—not just high-growth startups.
Whether a company hopes to expand locally or internationally, there are resources to help meet increased demand for products and services, increase inventory, hire personnel, participate in a trade mission trip, buy more equipment, translate collateral into another language, buy or lease land, and more.
There are 28.8 million small businesses with 56.8 million employees in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small businesses (defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees) account for 99.7 percent of all business in the U.S.
According to a U.S. Bank study, 82 percent of businesses that fail do so because of cash flow problems and lack of funding resources. However, Kansas City-area companies can avoid that fate by tapping into the metro’s plentiful resources.
There are more than 20 organizations in the Kansas City area that offer funding. These are just a few funding resources that exist in our area:
AltCap offers local entrepreneurs microloans of up to $50,000 in debt capital to launch, operate or grow their microenterprise or small business. Borrowers can be from any industry and at any stage of the business life cycle. Its ARTcap microloans are available for amounts up to $50,000 to artists, artisans and makers as well as other established businesses in the creative industries in Kansas City, Mo.
Angel Capital Association is the largest angel professional development organization providing early-stage investment in the world. ACA
provides an insider perspective to help make smart investment decisions.
C3 Capital Fund Management is based locally and manages three funds (C3 Capital Partners LP, C3 Capital Partners II LP and C3 Capital Partners III LP) with approximately $460 million in assets that provide capital for businesses to finance later stage growth, strategic acquisitions, ownership transitions and recapitalizations. Targeted industries include chemicals, energy, business services, distribution and niche manufacturing.
Digital Sandbox KC is a technology grant that provides proof-of-concept resources including market validation, prototyping and beta testing
support for development of digital technologies within new and existing businesses.
Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri has two types of financial assistance programs. EDC Loan Corporation (EDCLC) is a nonprofit corporation specializing in the origination and underwriting of SBA 504 loans and revolving loan funds. Its mission is to help small business grow and expand through loan programs in an effort to attract, expand and retain jobs.
Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City’s IMPACTO program offers microloans for small business owners.
Justine Petersen Microloan Program offers microloans targeting businesses that have been turned down for traditional financing.
KCRise Fund is a sidecar fund that co-invests with institutional venture capital investors in early-stage companies based in the Kansas City area. They match local early stage companies with seasoned venture capital investors.
KCSourcelink focuses on entrepreneurship and helps fill resource gaps and bring national resources to the community through grants such as the i6 Challenge and the University Center grants from the Department of Commerce EDA.
LaunchKC, a partnership between the EDCKC and Downtown Council, helps startups create jobs, attract talent, unlock value and engage follow-on investors. Eight $50,000 grants and one $100,000 grant are awarded annually.
Missouri Department of Economic Development (MDED) has two export programs. Global Market Access Program is for Missouri small businesses, primarily manufacturers, with 500 employees or fewer and with annual sales of $25 million or less. MDED will focus assistance to these small firms to access new geographic markets for increased sales opportunities. Missouri State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (STEP) makes grants to states to carry out export programs that assist eligible small businesses. The aim of the STEP Program is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and increase the value of the exports.
- ded.mo.gov/programs/business/gmap ExportMissouri.mo.gov/docs/defaultsource/export_missouri/mostep-guidelines.pdf
Women’s Business Center is an alternative lending organization that offers loans and financial education to small business owners in the Kansas City metro area. Each loan recipient receives structured technical assistance support in the development of their business and access to a financial coach.
World Trade Center Kansas City (WTCKC) has a Global Cities Initiatives (GCI) microgrant program that offers reimbursement of export-related expenses to small and medium-sized businesses. Grant awards may total $5,000 and must be spent on improving the applicant’s ability to access world markets.
To learn about more resources available for your industry and type of business, contact the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City at EDCKC.com, Missouri Department of Economic Development at ded.mo.gov or Kansas Department of Commerce at KansasCommerce.com for
assistance navigating the various programs.