A large federal grant will help reanimate an older industrial building in Kansas City to serve as a small business incubator.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration recently awarded a $1.6 million grant to the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City organization said that the grant should create about 90 new jobs.
The grant funds will aid in the construction and renovations of the 13,000-square-foot space, which is expected to feature a commercial kitchen, co-working space, conference rooms and other business services. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) helped lead regional planning efforts to secure the grant, bringing together public and private partners to develop a strategic economic development approach.
Pedro Zamora, the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation’s executive director, told KCUR that minority groups are at times forgotten in the area entrepreneurial community. The new space, however, might help with more equitable entrepreneurial growth.
“It’s a big piece that’s missing,” Zamora told KCUR. “We know Kansas City has been identified as the fastest growing entrepreneurial epicenter for the nation, but are we growing equitably?
“We put together a strategy that can allow us to participate in that same entrepreneurial, competitive edge, but bringing in accessibility for the underserved communities.”
Established in 1993, the HEDC aims to develop and implement economic development initiatives that would positively contribute to the quality of life for Latinos in the Greater Kansas City Area. Learn more about the organization here.