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Proposed bill would give small businesses grant money

By Anne Meyer, ameyer@kwch.com
Published On: Feb 09 2014 08:50:22 PM CST
Updated On: Jul 02 2014 07:14:30 PM CDT

A new bill in Topeka hopes to help small businesses. It would give owners up to $100,000 in grant money to expand their business and hire more employees.

A Wichita man plans to testify before senators in support of the bill this week.

From the desk of his non-profit business office, Brandon Johnson has been working on an idea that he says may create more jobs in our community.

"Talking to businesses in the area I always here things what if I had extra equipment, a new stove, a new lawn mower I could expand my business," Johnson said. "At the same time I hear people in the community that need jobs."

He's getting ready to head to Topeka Wednesday to testify about senate bill 340, or the Kansas Reinvestment Act. It would give grant money to qualified small businesses.

"Not just Wichita, but around the state, business owners would be able to hire more people, expand business, grow their own american dream," Johnson said.

He's teamed up with Wichita Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who authored the bill through the Senate Committee on Commerce.

"I know the big question on the committee is where is the money going to come from," Sen. Faust-Goudeau said. "But I look at it like this, we have to spend money sometimes to make money."

It's a concept she hopes other lawmakers will support to help small businesses in Kansas grow and hire more people.

"We want to help them keep their doors open and I think Senate Bill 340 will do that," Sen. Faust-Goudeau said.

A committee hearing on the bill will be held Wednesday morning. Critics say money may be the new program's biggest hurdle.

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