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EDG continues business training, development

By Ryan D. Wilson, News Editor, Clay Center Dispatch, October 5, 2016

In a brief meeting Tuesday night, the Clay Center City Council re-approved a few items they had already approved and heard a report from Economic Development director Lori Huber.

Among the things the Clay County Economic Development office is working on includes working with businesses in transition, to meet training and expansion needs, and planning for the future, Huber said in her report.

A survey of local businesses found the number one thing businesses here say they need to grow is workforce, so the EDG is working with Heartland Works and the Help Center to fill that need.

Huber reported that a “Growing Rural Businesses” session helped six businesses develop web sites that are up and running, and the next of these training sessions on human resources and supervisor training is planned for January or February.

EDG relies on small business development consultants to help provide small businesses these kinds of resources and in the last year have gone through three -- including one based out of Concordia and others based out of Wichita and Manhattan.

Huber said she hopes a new consultant hired a few weeks ago in Manhattan will be able to assist them.

She reported that of the local business owners going through a self-propelled “economic gardening,” three have applied and been accepted into the program, two are now going through it, and another is waiting until later, during part of the year when they aren’t as busy.

Two local businesses, Ginger’s Uptown and Life’s Finer Moments, were recently mentioned in a paragraph in Delta Airline’s Sky magazine.

Of the tax credits being sold to benefit EDG, the group is eligible for about $15,000 left to be sold, so anyone interested in donating and receiving a 75 percent tax credit for it should contact Huber before they are all gone.

She also reported that she has connected with a representative with National Bio- and Agra-Defense Facility (NBAF) being built in Manhattan about promoting Clay’s Center’s reverse osmosis for businesses connected with the federal laboratory who are looking for this resource.

The EDG is also working with K-State in developing a downtown revitalization plan that will be featured at the Common Ground building during this month’s ‘Third Thursday’ late night shopping and is organizing another Young Entrepreneur’s Fair.

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