Cowley First is here to help you navigate the questions of starting, growing or buying a business and have partners we work with on a regular basis. There are many resources that are available to businesses at the regional, State and Federal levels to provide additional assistance and information.
Cowley County has a reputation for having a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Successful manufacturing businesses such as Winfield Consumer Products, makers of Husky Liners; Robotzone, globally recognized for robot parts for industrial applications and hobby robotics; Galaxy Technology, a production tooling manufacturer; and S and Y Industries, circuit board engineering and production, all started as grassroots efforts right here in Cowley County.
These businesses are perfect pairings with other manufacturing giants located in Cowley County, which include GE Engines, Newell Rubbermaid, KanPak, Silgan Dispensing, Creekstone Premium Beef, ADM Milling, Morton Buildings, Western Industries, Webster Engineering, Columbia Elevators, Greif Bros. and Fluid Kinetics ICM.
With plenty of room for business attraction, development and growth, Cowley County has the distinct advantage of being home to four industrial parks encompassing 2,000 acres of industrial space. Driven by Ark City Industries, Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development, and Winfield Economic Development, local assistance, resources and programs support the expansive manufacturing growth experienced in Cowley County.
In Cowley County, an emphasis is placed on workforce training and professional development. In addition to the technical and professional offerings of Cowley College and Southwestern College, Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development hosts courses and workshops throughout the year to develop workforce skills that best suit local employers’ needs.
Due to the high demand of workers in Cowley County, an annual Cowley County Job Fair is hosted by Cowley First in the early spring.
Other workforce needs are met by the Cowley Workforce Center located in Winfield, a one-stop resource center for employment and training services.
Cowley works — Cowley Works for You!
The State of Kansas has a valuable website specific to operating a business in Kansas. This is a great resources if you’re needing to register your business, have questions about general operations or looking for related departments in Topeka. You’ll find a lot of information at Doing Business in Kansas.
The SBA, US Small Business Administration, is a Federal program that offers a wide range of business support programs and funding options. Visit the SBA Website to see their full offering. Here are some helpful quick links: Accounting | Business Plans | Buying or Selling a Business | Demographics |Exit Strategies | Exporting | Franchising | Human Resources | Insurance | Legal | Marketing/Advertising/PR | Microloan Programs | Minority Owned | Nonprofit | Taxes | Technology/Inventors | Veteran |
Another Federal program that could be beneficial to businesses is government procurement. As the acquisition arm of the federal government, GSA (US General Services Administration) plays a vital role in connecting the private sector with federal agencies fulfilling their business needs. GSA offers professional services, equipment, supplies, telecommunications, and information technology from commercial businesses to government organizations and the military through acquisition solutions from its Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Find more information about Selling to the Government.
Resources for Starting or Growing Your Business
NetWork Kansas is devoted to the growth of entrepreneurship and small businesses throughout the state of Kansas. Our mission is to promote an entrepreneurial environment by providing a central portal that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with the right resources—Expertise, Education and Economic Resources—when they are needed most. In pursuit of this mission, we partner with well-respected business development organizations and educational institutions that work with entrepreneurs and small business owners who have the vision and potential to succeed. The result is a seamless system that helps to accelerate economic and community development in Kansas.
Cowley First offers to sources of funding for Cowley County businesses loans: E-Community and Revolving Loan Fund.
Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) funds are for small business loans, generally ranging from $3,000 – $8,000. These can be for purchase of equipment, upgrades, renovations or special business projects. A business plan is needed with the application, as well as a financial plan to show repayment. Application requirements are a completed business plan detailing need and use of funds along with a 3-year cash flow projection, utilizing the scoring criteria outlined below. Consulting services are available from Cowley First at no charge and template are provided with one-on-one assistance to complete the application process.
For more information on each of these visit our E-Community Loan Program page.
To help you fined resources you need NetWork Kansas provides a Resource Navigator tool.
The Kansas Business Center has links to nearly every business related agency in Kansas. In addition, you can file some business related forms online.
If you’re looking for funding for your business, SCKEDD (South Central Kansas Economic Development District) can help you. With several funding options, they are a great resource to check out. SCKEDD
Kansas Agritourism Links – Kansas State University
Website Assessment Tool from Website Grader – Free assessment to measure your site’s marketing effectiveness
Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce: 106 S. Summit St. (620) 442-0230 – www.arkcitychamber.org
Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce: 123 E 9th Ave. (620) 221-2420 – www.winfieldchamber.org
“The residents of Cowley County served by Wheat State Telephone are always a priority to the company and our goal continues to be providing upto date communications and the exceptional customer service.”
— Randy Hoffman, Wheat State Telephone
“Rhonda (my wife) and I are proud to live and work here, and we challenge anyone to find a better place to raise a family.”
— Mike Walker, United Agency
“We are blessed to have found what I consider to be the best location in the state to work, raise a family, and retire!”
— Renee Price, PharmD, Graves Drug
“It is exciting to be a part of a growing company that encourages employees to continually grow and reach their full potential, a company that is involved in and gives back to the community, and a company that is committed to providing high quality products.”
— Ed Boyington, Galaxy Technologies President & CEO
“I have been a business owner in Winfield for the past 16 years. Winfield has such a feeling of community, support and outreach for one another. As a business owner this has given me such a sense of pride to be able to help others that have given so much of themselves to this wonderful town I call home. If I had it to do over again…I would choose Winfield!”
— Tracie Gordon, ReJuvv’ Spa