Republic County Named as a NetWork Kansas 2013 Entrepreneurship (E-) Community

Republic County Named as a NetWork Kansas 2013 Entrepreneurship (E-) Community; Awarded $75,000 in Tax Credits to Create Local Loan Fund for Entrepreneurs – Deadline is December 27, 2013 – Call 785-374-3047 for availability!


Interested in purchasing tax credits? Download the flyer here for more information – Kansas Entrepreneurship Tax Credits

Belleville, Kansas, November 5, 2013 — NetWork Kansas announced today that Republic County was selected as a 2013 Entrepreneurship (E-) Community and has been awarded $75,000 in tax credits, enabling the Republic County E-Community to raise $100,000 to be loaned to local businesses. Republic County joins a group of forty-three other E-Communities.

“We are excited to become an NetWork Kansas E-Community and join so many progressive communities dedicated to growing their own entrepreneurs across rural Kansas. This program will supplement our current revolving loan funds while enhancing our resources and ability to develop entrepreneurship in Republic County,” says Luke Mahin, Co-Director of Republic County Economic Development (RCED).

The E-Community partnership, now in its seventh year, has grown from six communities in 2007 to forty-four in 2013. The NetWork Kansas E-Community partnership allows a town, a cluster of towns, or an entire county to raise seed money for local entrepreneurs through donations from individuals or businesses within the community. During the first six years of the E-Community partnership, more than $7.5 million have been raised. These funds are estimated to generate more than $39.8 million of investment in rural businesses across Kansas.

Republic County assembled a local leadership team of representatives from across the county to apply for consideration during the 2013 E-Community Competitive Round. The E-Community leadership team includes: Jenny Russell, Jim Blecha, Mike Hadachek, Randy Nelson, Frank Rytych, Randy Wise, Blaine Miller, Neal Lewis, Randy Hansen, Mike Gritten, Deb Sasser, and Mike Couch. The leadership team will determine the strategy and vision for the E-Community. A separate financial review board will evaluate prospective loan applications from local businesses.

The leadership team submitted a detailed written application to NetWork Kansas in August before being chosen as a finalist. An in-person interview was held between NetWork Kansas and the leadership team this fall that led Director of E-Communities, Erik Pedersen to recommend to the NetWork Kansas Board of Directors that Republic County be approved as a 2013 E-Community

“So far, 2013 has been a very exciting year for our partner Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities. Through the first nine months of the year, they have collectively approved over $1.4M of loans to 50 businesses”, says NetWork Kansas Director of E-Communities Erik Pedersen.

“At the same time, many of them have implemented innovative programs to develop the entrepreneurial mindset of their youth, provided technical assistance that is customized to rural businesses, and helped their Stage 2 high-growth businesses continue to flourish. We are very excited to welcome five new E-Communities into this partnership and we want to thank the existing E-Communities for continuing to grow the entrepreneurial environment in their community.”

Republic County has until mid-December to raise donations in exchange for the tax credits it has been awarded. Interested donors should contact Luke Mahin about tax credit availability. The tax credits are valued at 75% of donations and offset state income tax liabilities for individuals or businesses. These funds will then be available beginning in January 2013 to be awarded to local businesses as matching loans. The establishment of the E-Community loan fund represents a significant accomplishment for Republic County and is the result of ongoing collaboration between area banks and entrepreneurs. In addition to the establishment of the E-Community loan fund, Republic County will also complete a series of strategic activities during 2014 designed to enhance the effectiveness of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to drive long-term economic growth. Four other communities were also named as 2013 E-Communities in addition to Republic County.

The following communities were granted a collective total of $325,000 in tax credits, enabling them to raise $433,333 to be loaned to local businesses in their community. The 2013 E-Communities are: Altamont, Clay County, Lyon County, Republic County, and Rice County.


Since 2007, NetWork Kansas E-Communities have loaned or granted $3.9 million to businesses in their communities through this funding source and leveraged an additional $20.9 million dollars, for a total investment of $24.8 million dollars into businesses in E-Communities. This funding has spurred the creation or retention of nearly 917 jobs in these same communities and has immeasurable positive effects on the entrepreneurial ecosystems of these participating areas.

Donation checks should be payable to the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship. Download and fill out this for your taxes K-31 Center for Entrepreneurship Credit Form .
Please mail them to RCED for collection:

Luke Mahin
Republic County Economic Development
P.O. Box 178 Belleville, Kansas 66935

Call (316) 218-6352 to verify that credits are still available for the current tax year.

To learn more about the E-Community Partnership, Contact:
Erik Pedersen, Director of E-Communities

About NetWork Kansas:
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 more than 500 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. For more information about NetWork Kansas, visit, or call 877.521.8600.Network Kansas