Kansas City entrepreneur advocates gained more momentum Thursday in their bid to receive greater civic support for startups and small businesses.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the driver of the Kansas City economy,” KCMO councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner told Startland Thursday afternoon, following the approval of the city’s $1.73 billion budget.
An additional $350,000 has been allocated to the Urban Business Growth initiative and for general entrepreneurial support.
“This item [is a result of advocacy from] the entrepreneurship community,” added Scott Huizenga, city budget officer, during Thursday’s city council meeting. “They came out in force at our public hearings.”
More than 50 entrepreneurs and startup founders gathered for a public budget hearing earlier this month, calling on the council to better support entrepreneurial endeavors, given the economic impact they bring to the city, Eze Redwood, Rise Fast founder and startup community organizer, said at the time.
Click here to read more about Redwood’s comments to council members.
“I’m pleased that we have been able to place more money in the city’s budget to build capacity and the ecosystem to support [startup] development,” Wagner said Thursday.
Small business owners, startup founders, and advocates of the entrepreneurial ecosystem once again gathered Thursday in support of the amendment to the proposed budget –– which was ultimately approved with no hesitation from council members during the afternoons public meeting.
Now approved, the funds will be combined with $200,000 already set aside for entrepreneurial support, Huizenga said.
Funds could be used to support or inject resources, such as support or training opportunities, into the startup and small business space –– as deemed appropriate by the assistant city manager.
“This is one of the top priorities that came out of our public hearings this year,” Huizenga added.
The KCMO budget year runs May 1 through April 30.
Click here to view details of the budget.