‘Don’t walk, run!’: Emporia brewery owner’s business booming with state ‘Main Street’ program
October 26, 2021

  • An Emporia business owner is applauding a recently expanded state economic development program for keeping his business up and running, especially during the pandemic.
  • The entrepreneur said the restaurant and pub started as a mere idea one night, between him and his friend, co-owner and executive chef “Gus” Bays. However, the entrepreneur said it would’ve never taken off without Main Street’s help.
  • The Kansas Main Street program, originally launched in 1985, and has helped many, mostly rural communities by investing hundreds of millions of dollars into building stronger downtown areas.
  • The program was ended by the Brownback administration in 2012 and brought back under Governor Kelly’s administration in late 2019. To expand the program’s reach and bring similar tools to more communities, the Affiliate Community program was created in 2020, now hosting 37 Kansas communities. 
  • The Governor announced last week that the program will now be adding three more Designated communities. Savage told Kansas Capitol Bureau that the pandemic has provided a new perspective on the importance of investing in local businesses.
  • For business owners, like Jeremy Johns at Radius Brewing, he said he’s hoping the expansion will help other businesses across the state and his community as well. “Don’t walk… run down to the Main Street office and tell them what your idea is, and they’ll help you along the way,” he said.