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Kansas Department of Commerce Announces New Grant Opportunity to Support Economic Development in Smaller Communities

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TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland announced a new grant opportunity today that will help support economic development and revitalization efforts in smaller communities across Kansas through investments in quality-of-life initiatives.

The brand-new Strategic Economic Expansion and Development (SEED) program will make grants between $5,000 and $50,000 available to communities in 78 designated counties with a population of 5,000 or less. Grants will be available in the following categories:

  • Childcare and senior programming – projects that support or enhance these services, such as building improvements, educational materials, supplies and equipment;
  • Community vibrancy – projects that refresh, re-energize and unlock the attractiveness of rural communities, such as art installations, murals and signage;
  • Food retail – projects that support access to food retail establishments, including development, renovation and/or expansion; and
  • Libraries – projects that support providing free and open access to a broad range of materials and services, including reading material, technology, furniture and building improvements.

“The Department of Commerce is very pleased to offer this new grant opportunity to our smallest communities across Kansas,” said Lt. Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “The SEED grants will offer communities a boost that will help them prosper and thrive. Quality-of-life investments help create vibrant communities that attract more people to live and work in Kansas.”

Local governments, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and other organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants must provide a minimum 10 percent match and complete the project within 12 months of receiving grant funds. Funds will be distributed half at the beginning of the grant cycle and the balance upon successful completion of the project.

Funding for the SEED program, which is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, is provided through the Technology Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions (TEFFI) Development and Expansion Fund. The TEFFI Act was enacted in 2021 through bipartisan legislation to promote economic development throughout the state.

Earlier this year, the Beneficient Company Group, L.P. received its full charter and became the first technology-enabled fiduciary financial institution in Kansas pursuant to the TEFFI Act. Beneficient’s first contribution to the grant program totaled $2.7 million.

SEED grant applications will open Monday, August 29, and close at 11:59 p.m. Friday, September 30. Grant awardees will be announced in October.

An informational webinar on the SEED grant will be available to the public at 10:00 a.m. (CST) Monday, August 29. Registration for the webinar, guidelines for the grant application, and a list of eligible counties can be found at www.kansascommerce.gov/seedgrants.

Applicants can contact SEED@ks.gov for any questions regarding this funding opportunity.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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