County Loan Funds To Help Business Expansion Project In Courtland

By Deb Hadachek
Telescope News

Two Courtland businesses have joined forces to restore a historic downtown building to provide more space for their companies, and others.

Courtland Building Venture, LLC was approved for a$30,000 loans from the RepublicCounty Revolving Loan FundMonday by Republic County Commissioners. The business will also receive a loan from the E-Community Loan Fund which is a separate pool of money to assist local business projects said Kay Shoemaker, revolving loan committee secretary.

The loans will be used to purchase and renovate an early 1900s building on Courtland’sMain Street that once housedGarman Appliance.

Courtland Building Venture, LLC is a partnership betweenJenRus Freelance, owned byJenny Russell, and the Kansas office of Ag Marketing Partners, operated by Troy Newman. Those two businesses currently share rental space in a building owned by Richard and Melanie Lindberg which also houses the Nex-Tech communication company.

Russell said the businesses have outgrown their present location.

“(JenRus) has a 15’x15’ office in our current location and we needed more space,” said Russell. Three fulltime people staff the JenRus office, and interns funded by Dane G. Hansen grant will work from their office this summer on projects to benefit the county.“

We are really grateful to the Lindbergs, who built the space that we moved in to in 2011,” says Russell. “They really enabled us to establish and grow.”

That’s a philosophyCourtland business ventures would like to offer to other businesses. Not only will the move opens up new office space for other businesses in the Lindbergs’ building, but Courtland Ventures will also provide plans to offer“co-working” space for other small and home-based workers in their building.

A co-working space can be rented by the hour, day, week, month or longer by people who work remotely, telecommute, or are home-based. The co-working concept provides a space with shared social circles and copier/amenities access, making work more convenient and less isolating, Russell says.

“Co-working spaces area growing trend around the country and the Courtland space will be one of the first in rural, small town, Kansas,” she says.

The building will also be equipped with a publicly-accessible conference room with multi-media capabilities that can be rented for presentations and other larger gatherings, she said.

Bryan VanMeterRenovation in Courtland is completing the project, which Russell said should be move-in ready by April.

Russell said this project is the sixth building renovated by private businesses in Courtland in the last 18 months. Most of the downtown buildings are occupied.

“We love Republic County and we are so thrilled to be taking one of our historic buildings to breath new life into it,” she said.