The city of Atchison’s E-Community Program, which began offering gap financing for small business startups, expansions, and acquisitions one year ago, has recently been designated as a “Level 1 program” by NetWork Kansas.

Previously, the program capped individual loans at $45,000. Level 1 status means the Atchison E-Community Program can now offer $75,000 loans. In 2017, five local businesses took advantage of the program.

Atchison Merchants, LLC, owned by Scott Weinmann and Eric Royer, utilized the program to acquire and update Amazing Deals, an existing retail business in downtown Atchison.

The Hardware Store, owned by Derek and Kelly Franklin, used the program to expand their offerings of special event related rental equipment, including tents, tables, chairs, dance floors, table games, and portable restrooms.

Muddy River Guitars, owned by Scott and Elizabeth Weinmann, used the program to purchase inventory for the new storefront space above 5th Street Mercantile (the old Nell Hill’s location).

CK Taylor, LLC, owned by Chris and Kim Taylor, used the program to acquire and upgrade the existing Raven Liquor business located at 18th and Main streets.

The Sunflower, owned by Jo Kuckelman and to be operated by Katie Wagner, used the program to fund the buildout of their startup coffee shop at 123 N Fifth St. The venture, which aims to be open later this month, seeks to provide an upscale atmosphere housing “the Roasterie” coffee, baked goods, craft beers, and gift items.

All E-Community loans are coupled with loans from local banks in addition to personal investment to complete the full financing package. Everyday businesses like restaurants, cleaning services, small manufacturers, daycare facilities, construction companies, retail stores and more can use this locally controlled, revolving loan fund as gap financing to make their small business dreams come true.

The funding for the E-Community Program is created through the sale of entrepreneurship tax credits, which are allocated to NetWork Kansas by the Kansas State Legislature.

To learn more about the E-Community Program, contact Justin Pregont with the city of Atchison at or 913-367-5561.

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