RCED 2019 Annual Report

Scandia, KS – The Republic County Economic Development Corporation hosted its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Scandia Community Building Monday, February 17th. The meal was catered locally by T.A.G.’s and the 2019 RCED Annual Report was presented by Director, Luke Mahin.

The RCED committee held annual board and officer elections. Officers elected were Jim Blecha Chairman, Mike Gritten Vice-Chairman and Mike Hadachek Treasurer. Other voting board members are Edwin Splichal, Adam Robertson, David Douglas, Tom Lesovsky, Jeff Thompson, Michael Couch, David-Paul Cavasos, Matt Dowell, Randy Hansen. Director is Luke Mahin and advisor Jenny Russell.

The RCED board is made up of twelve voting members. Three voting members from each of the three Republic County Commissioner Districts and one member appointed by the Republic County Commissioners, one for City of Belleville and one at large position.

Scroll below to view the slides of the presentation. Below are the figures from the report.

RCED 2019 Annual Report by Luke Mahin on Scribd


  • Republic County Economic Development with Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Small Business Development Center assists with business planning, incentives, and program information and updates. Other assistance may begin at local workshops or small business training and continue from there as the business starts, expands or is looking for succession planning help. Below are the number of businesses assisted in 2019 broken down by their stage. Business names have been removed for confidentiality.
    • Planning / Start-Up Stage: 40 businesses
    • Expansion/ Growth Stage: 31 businesses
    • Succession Stage: 13 businesses
  • Revolving Loan Funds – Republic County Development Committee (RCD) – A separate business gap financing committee represented by local banks and county residents that administers three pools of funding. Once funds are repaid they are loaned again to a new business in the county. The revolving loan pool is promoted by RCED.
  • Revolving Loan Application Assistance – RCED offers businesses that work with a qualified professional can receive half the cost of consultation up to $500 to prepare and submit a revolving loan application.
  • Belleville Industrial Park – North Central Kansas Industrial Development Corporation – A separate non-profit that is assisted by RCED. We assisted nine requests for information on the property. Assisted NCK Ind. Dev. with the City of Belleville on utility information, marketing the property, and sharing local programs and resources.
  • Neighborhood Revitalization Program – 2011 – 2016, renewed for 2016-2020
    • 2011-2018 – 81 Projects
    • 5-year rebate 95%, 90%, 70%, 40%, 20% for new construction that increases the appraised value above $30,000. Applications are through the Republic County Appraises office.
    • 2018 – 4 Residential, 2 Farm Residential, 1 Commercial, 1 Ag.
    • 2011-2018: 19 Commercial, 27 Ag, 20 Residential, and 15 Farm Residential
    • $11,886,580 added in incremental value added to the county in that time
  • Downtown Buildings Tour – In collaboration with the Belleville Chamber & Main Strete where 15 attended the tour of four buildings downtown Belleville during Trunk or Treat October 31st. Planning an expanded event for spring 2020.
  • Rural and Remote – Remote working certification program that connects residents of the 26 county Dane Hansen area to internships and remote jobs and has a coding academy program as well. Promoted the program to students in college, alumni, spouses of new workers, and across our media. Four people in the program receiving assistance or training in the county.
  • Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth Internships
    • 2020 – 12 business internships – $2,000 per intern from Nex-Gen.
    • 2019 – 5 businesses internships – Polansky Seed, Swedish American State Bank, C&C High Tunnel Farms, Mahin Insurance, Coles Appliance
    • 2018 – 2 business internships – Polansky Seed, C&C High Tunnel Farms.
  • North Central Kansas Food Council – Luke serves on the board representing the county to promote local food options and assist local food production and expansion in the region.
  • Kansas Nebraska Heritage Area Partnership – Luke is a Co-Chair representing Kansas on non-profit board seeking to get national heritage area designation for 49 counties in NCK and SCK. Leveraging federal funding for heritage promotion and preservation


  • E-Community Loan Pool (RCD Revolving Loan Committee)
    • Approved for up to $135,000 in loans annually and $25,000 available for E-Community approved programs 2019-2020
    • $4,460.14 in local programming grants in 2019 (YEC, Small Business Classes, marketing, networking events.)
      • $2,118 used for local programs in 2018
    • $335,995 loaned to 9 businesses since 2014 (Courtland Building Venture, Bethany Swafford Farm Bureau, Cuba Cash Store, EST Automotive, CPR Medical, Belleville Hometown Lumber, BellConn, Coles’ Appliance).
  • FREE Small Business Courses
    • Hosted twice each year in the spring and fall by Linda Sutton-Nutsch former NCK SBDC director. Prepares business for loan applications.
    • 17 people attended courses in spring (5) and fall (12) of 2019.
    • Three courses offered: Money, Marketing and Management, Business Planning, and Cash Flow
  • Launch & Grow – Quartly Business Networking
    • Belleville- Spring – 25 attended presentation at Blair Theater by Ben Winchester
    • Munden – Summer – 40+ attended and toured ProHoe, Garden Mart, Blasted Moments, Mahin Insurance
    • Belleville – Fall – 18 attended Hometown Lumber / Truss Manufacturing tour
  • Republic County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge 2019 at RCHS
    • 66 students participated from Pike Valley and Republic County Junior/Senior High.
    • 26 teams competed locally – $1,750 in prizes to top six
    • Three teams qualified for State YEC hosted at KSU – 1 Champion / 1 Honorable Mention
    • Two of Three State YEC teams are existing businesses operating in the county: Otter Creek Farms / Bomb Creations.
  • Life After Business – Succession Workshop – NCK Small Business Development Center / Network KS – 18 people attended. Rick Feltenberger provided more information on succession planning strategy and value building.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week – Grant – Both PVHS and RCHS art classes received $125 for entrepreneurship projects.


  • Rural Opportunity Zone – Student Loan Repayment
    • $39,819.80 paid to applicants in 2019 (75% of applicants indicated savings goes towards housing mortgage or improvements)
    • 14 people funded in by Republic County / 4 have completed the program
    • 2 sponsored by Republic County Hospital / 1 sponsored by Kallman Insurance
    • 10 on the waiting list
  • Republic County Community Foundation
    • Promoted Match Month in December and Keep 5 Campaign as well as shared information with communities, schools, hospital, and non-profits needing project funding.
  • Dane Hansen – Community Intern – Housing
    • Harley Schuster was the Summer intern who worked on Housing. Providing HAT assessment updates, regional housing projects, housing program packet for cities, and surveyed employees/employers in the area on housing needs. Intern presentation in August.
    • RCED was approved for the second internship by Dane Hansen summer of 2020 to work on marketing with regard to housing programs and identify the housing demand of our workforce.
  • North Central Regional Planning Commission – Luke serves on NCRPC board of directors representing Republic County with monthly meetings. This assists our local communities/county with millions in grant funding, regional revolving loans, and information on programs like CDBG, Rural Development, Nuisance Abatement Pilot Program, Weatherization, other activities.
    • Republic County Homeownership Pilot Program – Letter of support for potential expansion of down payment assistance. program in 2020.
  • Republic County Relocation Guide – Collaboration with Belleville Chamber and Main Street to provide newcomers to the county information on local towns, services, healthcare, education, and quality of life amenities.
  • Childcare – Childcare listings on our website. Resources from Child Care Aware, KSU Research & Extension, and other program providers.
  • Kansas Sampler Foundation – Networks problems and solutions with KSF to help volunteer lead communities.


  • Weekly radio spots with KREP 92.1 FM, press releases and articles with Belleville Telescope / Courtland Journal, and monthly interview with KNCK 94.9 FM.
  • 1,290 Table Tents were distributed over 12 months to restaurants in the county featuring local news, events, and sponsor information
  • Spoke to the Kansas House Ag Committee on Specialty Ag Producers and NCK Food Council work highlighted Depot Market, C & C High Tunnel, C & S Farms, Warren Sutton, and Cuba Cash Store in reference to impact and programs used.
  • Office of Rural Prosperity Tour – Lt. Governor – Co-Chair of RP / CO county tour in August
  • RCED work mentioned My Fellow Kansans – podcast, articles in the fall of 2019
  • Fields regional and national news requests and connects them with county businesses and organizations. Four businesses featured on KSN in 2018.
  • 45,313 pageviews on the website in 2019 to
    • 7,000~ pageviews on the Jobs page
    • 4,000~ pageviews on Housing page
  • 431 subscribers to RCED E-mail Newsletter
  • 1,783 Facebook Likes
  • 781 Twitter Followers
  • 396 Instagram Followers

For questions contact:

Luke Mahin – Director
Republic County Economic Development