Sunday, September 23, 2012
The abrupt demise of a popular state program that helped Kansas communities revitalize their downtowns has left officials in many cities disappointed and perplexed.
State Commerce Secretary Pat George announced the immediate shutdown of the 27-year-old Kansas Main Street program in an email Thursday to directors of the 25 local Main Street programs around the state. George said the move was part of a department restructuring.
Kansas Main Street offered training sessions, technical guidance and zero-interest matching loans for small-business development.
In northeastern Kansas, Holton Main Street executive director Bob Carlson said the loans kept some small towns from drying up commercially. Carlson says most of the local programs will continue to exist, but the training and guidance from the state program will be missed.