Mo-Kan Regional Council (Mo-Kan) celebrated 50 years of service on December 5, 2018, with a ribbon cutting, followed by an open house. Mo-Kan is a designated regional planning commission and economic development district, recognized by the states of Kansas and Missouri and the federal government. Mo-Kan also provides community and economic development services to municipalities across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.

Since the development of a partnership between Mo-Kan and the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1982, Mo-Kan has provided commercial loans to area businesses in an effort to strengthen communities through economic development. Loan programs offered by Mo-Kan are designed to be an affordable means in which businesses can access much-needed capital. Through many of the loan programs, Mo-Kan partners with a local lender and provides “gap financing” for owner-occupied businesses.

Many entrepreneurs that Mo-Kan is able to help are in search of ways to preserve their cash on hand for the use of working capital. Mo-Kan is able to fill the financing gap between what a local bank is able to provide and what the borrower has available for down payment. In many cases, the local lender provides 50 percent of the financing and Mo-Kan secures 30 to 40 percent of the project costs. All of Mo-Kan’s loan products offer a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Fixed rates provide entrepreneurs the assurance they need that their payments will not increase over time, which in turn helps them plan future growth opportunities.

Mo-Kan’s primary objective for these loan programs is economic development through job creation. Local job creation directly increases net wealth and improves the tax base in the Mo-Kan communities. Along with the loan programs, Mo-Kan offers technical assistance to entrepreneurs needing aide in finalizing and analyzing their endeavors. Technical assistance is provided in many forms, ranging from financial analysis to networking basics.