A Southeast Kansas resource is trying to help people start a business journey from the ground up


BOURBON COUNTY, KS – Nationwide, the workforce took a hit as a result of the pandemic, but one Southeast Kansas resource is hoping to help communities make a comeback.

“Our goal here is to bring people the opportunity for financial stability.” Says Jody Hoener, Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.

The workforce could soon be expanding in Bourbon County.

Recently the “Healthy Bourbon County Action Team” received the highly competitive USDA rural development grant to help promote economic growth in the community.

“It will help us build capacity of our organization to provide services to low-income, minority, women owned businesses and food based businesses.” Says Hoener.

Helping people start their business journey from the ground up, regardless of whether they have a background in business.

“A lot of us don’t come from business backgrounds.” Says Kelly Perry, HBCAT Client.

“How do you find time to research, how do you start an LLC, who can help you fill out the paperwork, how do you start your own checking account, what in the world is a tax ID number, these are things people don’t talk about every single day.” Says Perry.

The grant will also help the team partner with the Kansas Department of Comerce’s “Back to Work” initiative.

“They’re going to help people get back to work and so we have Southeast Kansasworks here who is here two times a week to help people get enrolled with their program to be compliant with the Department of Commerce.” Says Hoener.

Helping to fill the labor shortage, by creating a business path based on the interests of the client.

“We definitely have the jobs out there… We can incorporate these things into our training, we can teach someone that it’s not making a t-shirt business on the side, but how can you market that t-shirt business, how can you grow that t-shirt business, we can fill these jobs.” Says Perry.

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