Spring 2023 Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) Grant Recipients Announced

TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland today announced the recipients of the spring 2023 Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grants. A total of 17 projects from across the state are receiving nearly $918,000 in matching grant funds.

The Patterson Family Foundation and Department of Commerce paired up to provide grant funding to assist rural communities in revitalizing underutilized and dilapidated downtown buildings and turn them into economic drivers in the community. A total of 30 applications were received during the spring HEAL grant round.

“Downtowns throughout rural Kansas act as the front doors to their communities,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Through our valued relationship with the Patterson Family Foundation, we are helping to make these districts more economically viable and productive.”

HEAL projects will fund a variety of economic drivers. A sampling of this round’s projects include: a restaurant, a brewery, a façade improvement for an existing health and wellness business, a coffee shop and bakery, upper story short-term rentals and apartments, a childcare center and a group childcare facility, a boutique hotel and lounge, a sewing shop, a market, and a community event center.

“Through multiple rounds of the HEAL program, it has been rewarding to see how different rural communities work collaboratively to display their own unique sense of place and pride,” Patterson Family Foundation President Lindsey Patterson Smith said. “We have enjoyed working with the Department of Commerce and its partners on a program that is creating meaningful opportunities through revitalization. It will be exciting to see these projects get implemented.”

The spring 2023 HEAL grant awardees include:

  • Belleville Chamber/Main Street, Republic County – $75,000
  • City of Halstead, Harvey County – $64,300
  • City of Hillsboro, Marion County – $74,999
  • City of Osawatomie, Miami County – $75,000
  • City of Spearville, Ford County – $70,000
  • City of Sterling, Rice County – $75,000
  • City of Wathena, Doniphan County – $54,520
  • Edwards County Economic Development (Kinsley), Edwards County – $45,599
  • Edwards County Economic Development (Lewis), Edwards County – $33,008
  • Grow Hays, Inc., Ellis County – $75,000
  • Grow Clay County (GCC), Clay County – $25,000
  • Logan County Community Foundation, Logan County – $25,000
  • Miltonvale Economic Revitalization Improvement Team (MERIT), Inc., Cloud County – $9,600
  • Ness County Chamber of Commerce, Ness County – $48,250
  • Point Forward, Inc., Crawford County – $75,000
  • Rush County Economic Development, Rush County – $17,462
  • South Central KS Economic Development District, Reno County – $75,000

About the Kansas Department of Commerce:

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in 2021 and 2022, and was awarded the 2021 and 2022 Governor’s Cup by Site Selection Magazine.

About the Patterson Family Foundation:

The Patterson Family Foundation is a family-led foundation extending the legacy of Neal and Jeanne Patterson to improve the rural communities through healthcare, education, economic opportunity, and beyond. Learn more about the Patterson Family Foundation and how it can help your community at https://pattersonfamilyfoundation.org/

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.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 2020 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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