March 8, 20122 years ago

Local Business People Return from Destination Business

Six local businesses returned last week from a business improvement “Destination BootCamp” held in Longmont, Colorado, where they leaned hundreds of new methods to bring more customers and tourists to Phillips County.

Among the group to attend include: Stacie Wenzl – Wenzl Drug, Erik Willer – Willer’s Casual Dining, Ginger Tweedy – Area Insight, Setul Parikh – Mark V Motel, Debra Dillon –Logan area business, Dustin Cheney –Phillipsburg Chiropractic Center, and Kera Nuckolls –Discover Phillipsburg Main Street as the Community Coordinator.

Phillips County Economic Development committed to fund the registration fee for six Phillips County businesses and one Community Coordinator to attend per year for four years. This is the third group to attend the two and one-half day, 20-hour workshop that also included approximately twenty-five other business representatives from across North America.

Destination Business BootCamp was created by marketing consultant Jon Schallert, who teaches independent business owners on how to reposition their businesses as “consumer destinations”.

According to Schallert, a business using his Destination Business strategies can compete effectively with stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot and significantly impact a local community.

Schallert notes that it is not uncommon for destination businesses to create change in an entire city, by drawing consumers, from miles around, outside the immediate marketplaces of the community.

“The Destination Business BootCamp is a must do for any small business owner who wants to set themselves apart from, ahead of, or to excel faster than the competition,” says Phillipsburg chiropractor, Dr. Dustin Cheney. “Your competition is not your competitor down the street. Your competition is the world. In today’s society, almost anything is a click away. With the tools I learned at the Destination BootCamp taught by Jon Schallert, I know that I can beat the click and continue to offer our community the highest quality chiropractic and natural health care services in the region.

Schallert’s Destination Busness BootCamp is held in Colorado three times annually. Schallert has worked with independent business owners since 1983, speaks to thousands every year, and is the President of  The Schallert Group, Inc., Longmont Colorado. One newspaper called Schallert “the marketing guru rooting for the retail underdogs”. Business owners interested in attending may contact Phillips County Economic Development at 785-543-5809 for more information, or one can visit Schallert’s website at www.DestinationBootCamp.com.

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2011 Destination Bootcamp for local businesses -- Success!

Six Phillips County businesses return from the 2011 June “Destination Bootcamp” with new tools for changing their businesses and attracting new customers.  The Phillips County business owners attending Destination BootCamp at Longmont, Colorado were:  Janeen Wallgreen (Heartland Marketing), Eric & Nicolina Coulimore (Couli Kaffee), Shelli Dennis (the Hair Co. Salon), Robin Sides (Ultimate Image), Teal Yates (KKAN/KQMA Radio), and Diane Conn (Kustom Kreations), plus Jeff Hofaker (PCED Director) acting as the group’s community coordinator.

Phillips County Economic Development was the first county in the nation to make a long term (four year) committment to sending six business owners and one community coordinator to the Jon Schallert – “Destination BootCamp” within the Community Reinvestment Program.   Through this committment to the Schallert Program, Phillips County Economic Development provided a sponsorship which paid for every attendee’s registration fee.

Phillips County, Kansas has always had strong entrepreneurs and leaders.  Dane G. Hansen and McDill “Huck” Boyd were two entrepreneurs who fought for the rural community, its businesses, its way of life, and the future prospect of its citizens and visitors to “Discover Phillips County”.  As a Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) area, a designated Entrepreneurial Community by Network Kansas, and offering local, entrepreneurial grant programs to assist business growth and creation,  Phillips County, Kansas has positioned itself as one of the most entrepreneurial minded, rural communities in the Midwest United States.  Making the committment to sponsoring businesses for this premiere marketing learning experience, instructed by Jon Schallert, is another proactive tool that Phillips County Economic Development has done to assist local businesses increase revenue possibilities.

The two and one-half day “Destination Bootcamp”, created by marketing consultant Jon Schallert, teaches independent business owners on how to reposition their businesses as “consumer destinations”.  According to Schallert, a business using his “Destination Business” strategies can compete effectively with superstores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot, and significantly impact a local community.  According to Schallert, it is not uncommon for destination businesses to create change in an entire city, by pulling consumers from miles around, from outside the typical, immediate marketplace of a community.

For inside information about the businesses which attended the 2011 Destination BootCamp, review the official press release.

Schallert Recognizes Phillips County

It is always good when visitors to our community are impressed with the people and activites in Phillips county.  We often do not get feedback directly.  Rarer still, have articles written about Phillips County and then have them published in national magazines.  Well, here is one such article, we would like to share with you. 

Jon Schallert, the founder of Schallert Bootcamp, was fortunate to have got to know seven (7) individuals from Phillips County last year that attended his camp.  The knowledge and expertise shared during the bootcamp was quickly applied by the business owners from Phillips County upon their return.  The Discover Phillipsburg Main Street organization with financial assistance from Phillips County Economic Development (PCED) last year sent these seven individuals, including Michelle Jacobs (the community coordinator) for the Community Reinvestment group of Phillips County. 

The growth and impact by Schallert bootcamp on these businesses was so great, that the PCED made the committment to the Schallert Group to reserve a place each year for six businesses for the next three (3) years.  This was a $45,000 dollar committment for the Bootcamp by paying for business owners boot-camp reservation fees.  This type of committment was the first ever for Schallert across the entire nation.  It was because of this involvement with Phillips County, that Jon had a special article created to put in some national magazines. 

Payback to the community comes from the growth of these businesses (because of the application of the education learned at Schallert).  Every business is different in what it does and the impacts received.  One of the business owners stated it helped increase their revenue by at least 400%, another 100%, another was seeing 50% increases, where others forecasted future growth potential.  These impacts are all great, but vary depending on the business and its involvements in applying ideas it has learned. 

The biggest challenge most businesses see upon returning (if they are making large expansions or changes) is financial.  Phillips County, Kansas is very unique as the PCED has a local grant program, called the EBEP.  It is one of only about 4 counties in the State of Kansas which has a true grant program for entrepreneurs.  Along with the grant, if approved, they can apply for a low to no interest loan up to 60% of the cost of the project.  If they happen to fall into the Discover Phillips Main Street district in Phillipsburg, they could as for additional zero interest loan funds.  This pro-active atmosphere being created and fueled by businesses attending Schallert, is one of many reasons which lead Phillips County to be designated an Entrepreneurial Community (E-Community) by Network Kansas in 2010. 

Every business is unique, just like every person is, that runs a business.  The key to growing our communities is through visionary concepts created by our entrepreneurs.  Stepping out of the box (mindset) from our rural mainstreet (traditional marketing) into creating a place (business) that visitors and shoppers will travel more than 200 miles to purchase items because it is (a destination).  This concept may sound strange, but consider what you (everyone) does for a vacation.  They make a special trip to go somewhere unique.  

Phillips County has had it challenges, but as residents and businesses we have great potential.  Jon Schallert and many other visitors which shop here as a regional point, see this.  If we are to continue to stay strong and grow, we must be pro-active and postitive, and see ourselves (our county) as a regional point, just as many people across the state and nation see us already. 

Let’s Discover Phillips County’s potential!!!!

Posted by Jeff Hofaker

Kansas Income Tax Credits

If you predict that you or your business will be paying Kansas Income Taxes this year and need some tax credits – PLEASE ‘reply’ back via this e-mail or call the PCED office at 785-543-5809.  Network Kansas is providing tax credits for individuals and businesses through Phillips County Economic Development to help raise monies for the Phillips County E-community fund.   Phillips County recieved designation as an E-Community from Network Kansas for 2010 on 10-25-2010.  

This 2010 tax credit program would allow you (business and/or individual paying Kansas Income Taxes) to keep  (designate) tax dollars in western Kansas specifically for helping encourage the entrepreneurial business growth through specialized 0% or low-interest rate loans and funding for community development projects  through the  (Phillips County E-community Fund) maintained at Network Kansas.  What a way to earmark your taxes to work toward something local and for business growth, rather than your taxes being delivered to the State of Kansas.   This will NOT affect the Kansas budget, as these tax credits have already been allocated within the State budget office via legislation 3 years ago.

At this time, it is very simple. We (PCED) needs to have a commitment from individuals and/or businesses that would like to acquire these tax credits through a donation to Network Kansas.   Check with your accountant first to see whether this tax credit will be an advantage to your individual or business tax situation.  If it is, they will recommend ‘how many’ you need.  Then contact the PCED office and let us know the information listed below.   These 2010 tax credits are in a refundable category as they can be rolled forward to future years, if not used in 2010.  The full amount is also deductable off your federal income taxes (most cases) due to the purchase going through a not-for-profit 501 c 3 organization (Center of Entrepreneurism – Network Kansas). 

In a nutshell, it is a great way to steer your tax dollars toward local projects.  Besides the direct impact on your Kansas Income Taxes, of which your donation (purchase) gains you 1-to-1 Kansas Tax Credits for the 75% of money donated, the other 25% difference is made up in the full amount of the donation paid being deductable off  Federal taxes (in most situations – especially if you itemize).   Here is an example: Your Kansas Income Taxes are estimated to be $750 dollars to be owed.  You make a donation of $1000 toward these tax credits to acquire the 1-to1 credits needed.  You will receive $750 dollars in Kansas Tax Credits (dollar for dollar) that is spoken for on a sheet of paper (the K-31 form – which is attached to your Income Tax form) showing you have redirected these $750 dollars of Kansas taxes to be used for a specific purpose (E-community funding for Phillips County).  The 25% difference is made up usually by the  federal income tax deduction given on the entire amount of $1000 dollars which reflects on your overall federal taxes.  Obviously, this impact varies for each business/individual, so make sure you visit with your tax preparer on this opportunity.

PCED will be contact point for collecting the donation checks for Network Kansas on these tax credits.  If you have already committed to tax credits, they you will need to send make out your check to: Network Kansas and in the remarks section denote – Phillips County E-Community.  Then mail or hand deliver your check to the PCED office:  P.O. Box 604, 205 F. Street, Suite 155, Phillipsburg, KS  67661.   Your donation check should be made out for 25% more than your needed tax credit amount.  Example:  Your accountant stated you needed $1000 credits, then you would write the check out for $1250 dollars (or 25% more), since this is a 75% tax credit; thereby, you get your full $1000 dollars of Kansas tax credits and can use the full $1250 as a deduction toward your federal taxes.

If more than $125,000 dollars of tax credits are committed cumulatively to this endeavor (Phillips County E-community Fund), Network Kansas has agreed to provide the same type of tax credits for the business/person needing them, AND the donations given will be directed toward the ‘Start-up Kansas Fund” (which is a state-wide, competitive loan program that Phillips County businesses have also used).  Any donations raised for the ‘Start-up Kansas” through Phillips County will allow 10% of those funds to come directly back as a ‘GRANT” to our local Network Kansas partners organizations.

This effort ‘not only’ helps establish a long term, entrepreneurial development loan fund for Phillips County businesses, but also brings monies which would be lost from this area by paying State Income Taxes, directly back in the form of ‘grants’ to our local, rural economy!!!  It also helps YOU recapture some of your federal taxes, and allows you to know you are helping out the local rural areas. 

 At this time, if you are interested in committing to tax credits… just send an e-mail to PCED (Director) and let us know the following…..

  • Who are the 2010 Kansas Income Tax credits for:  (name of business or individual)
  • Contact information for the (name of business or individual)
  • Amount of Tax Credits desired: (minimum $250 and Maximum $50,000 – per entity or individual) 
    • There are no specified increments, so you could commit to $259 or $1113 or $49,999 – as long as you are above the minimum number and at or below the maximum figure.

I would  recommend visiting with your personal accountant/tax preparer to see how you might benefit by acquiring these tax credits, as every tax situation for businesses and individuals are unique.  These tax credits will not be available after December 14, 2010 – so get back to us as soon as possible, to earmark tax credits that you may need for 2010, if you are interested, in this way your commitments can be tallied and counted.  Our telephone number is 785-543-5809 or contact us via e-mailing the PCED Director.

Keep in mind that these tax credits can be utilized by Kansas Income Tax Payers – so if you have connections across the state that you know that could utilize these credits and would help out in this effort – Please – forward them this information, and encourage them to participate! 

Thanks for your time, attention and support in this effort!

Jeff Hofaker – PCED Director.

Community Development Academy!!!

The Community Development Academy is a series of workshops that will provide community leaders the assessment and strategic planning information necessary to devise participatory community development plans and strategies. Participants will gain the information, resources and new ideas for planning to create quality sustainable communities.  There are scholarships available for registration from multiple groups, which include: Hansen Foundation Scholarship (through Huck Boyd Institute),  wKREDA , Rural Telephone, Golden Belt Telephone and  Blackhills Energy.  It is strongly encouraged to have at least four (4) individuals to make up a community team.  A county, town, or region can form a team.  This academy will be starting on September 22 for the Community Team Leaders.  The official schedule, scholarship information links, and dates can all be found on the  K-State Community Development Academy website

The first academy workshop will be held in the middle of Western Kansas, at FHSU in Hays, Kansas.  This is close to home for Phillips County community residents, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.  A group has already been forming for Phillipsburg and one representing Phillips County, but any other town in the county would sure benefit from taking this information acquired back to their own town and making exciting development projects happen. 

If you have any questions, please contact PCED staff at 543-5809.  The deadline for the Academy is coming up soon, so if you are even slightly interested, please consider leading a team from your community. 

Jeff Hofaker -

Phillips County Wind Development Project

Everyone is talking about wind development nowdays!  Well, Phillips County has been for a while, as well.  There continues to be activity for wind development in our area on several fronts.  The most noteworthy is the Pleasant Ridge Wind Project.  Pleasant Ridge Wind, LLC is an organization formed out of a collaboration of landowners across portions of 8 townships in the northern section of Phillips County.  Roughly 33,000 acres cumulatively through these landowners have agreed to utilize Bannister Capital Advisors, LLC as a direct liaison and negociator for wind developers to be recruited into the area.  Bannistor Capital Advisors, LLC is a private consulting business which has experience in negociating in legal terms with wind developers.  At the present time, Mark Bannister and  his three brothers (Joel, Grant, and Ted), have started the process of soliciting wind developers through an offiical RFP (request for Proposals) process.  This process includes all the specifications wanted and agreed upon from all the landowner members of the Pleasant Ridge Wind organization (landowner group). 

While this process continues, the PCED staff has continued to create tools which may help with the marketability of Phillips County for wind development.  Letters were sent out in late 2009, to all landowners in Phillips County, with an “Endorsement of Wind Development” committment sheet.  With the return of these “endorsements”, a map of landowners “for” and “against” their land being considered for wind development has been constructed and updated daily.  This provides a ready-to-use tool (information) for wind developers.  Out of the 1700 letters orginally sent out, we have recieved 264 “endorsements” back to the PCED office.  The majority of the “endorsements” have been positive.  There was no deadline for returning this information, but we have recieved about 15% back after two months; we would encourage all Phillips County landowners that have not sent in their “endorsements” to please do so. 

Most recently (within the last three days), we have had two inquiries for this information.  It is exciting to know, we have most of the information readily available to immediately scan and send out to a possible wind (green) developer.  This does not necessarily mean development will happen, but it does allow the developer to have additional information abuot the county to help make a more informed decision.  PCED will continue to work with these groups toward the end result hopefully becoming wind development in our area.

Posted by:

Jeff Hofaker

Northwest Kansas Development Roundtable

The Northwest Kansas Development Roundtable meeting will be held at the Huck Boyd Community Center on March 16 at 10 am through 3 pm.  This meeting will be hosted by Phillips County Economic Development (PCED) with Midwest Energy, INC sponsoring the lunch and providing information on their How$mart program.  The meeting agenda, discussion points, education and speakers will be  facilitated by Kansas Commerce’ s business development regional office, the office of rural opportunties, Network Kansas, and the Kansas Small Business Development Center.  This meeting is open to business and community leaders across the eastern nine counties of Kansas Commerce’s Northwest Section, which includes:  Norton, Phillips, Smith, Graham, Rooks, Osborne, Trego, Ellis and Russell counties.  The following day, a similar meeting will be held in Goodland to host the western counties of the Northwest region of Kansas Commerce.  We are very fortunate to be one of the counties chosen to host this event for Kansas Commerce this year and encourage business leaders and city/county representatives to become a part of this roundtable of ideas, program education and organizational networking.

Posted by Jeff Hofaker – PCED Director

Kansas Marketplace Update

On November 9 & 10, the first ever Kansas marketplace event was held in Hays, Kansas.  This event was spearheaded by the Center of Rural Affairs (based in Nebraska) and Kansas Commerce.  There was an advisory group of twenty some representatives from across the state working for about a year on developing and advising on ideas to make this one of the best avenues of educational and real world networking assistance for small business development. 

There was just over 250 registrants to attend the marketplace event.  Over the course of two days, there was 42 breakout sessions for business owner and community organizers to acquire new information on events, activities, programs, projects, and ideas to improve their own situations in this time of economic challenges.  Networking seemed to continually come up as a key question and information point.  The new generation’s way of marketing was incredibly interesting.  Although old school marketing was not “kicked out the door” by any means, the new tactics and avenues was a means by which to promote community, product, and services.  Working in conjunction with traditional marketing, these new social networks (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogging, and others) are becoming the premier way the youner generation communicates and is educated about services/products/communities. 

There were two special event speakers whose emphasis was on setting the right environment for business development.  Although, this aspect of business atmosphere or environment has been mentioned many times in history, it is an essential part (basis rule) of a business and communities which seems to be undeveloped and often the easiest forgotten in the long run.  It may be started in the short term, but often never grows to the peak level of marketing it should. 

Plans for next year’s second Kansas Marketplace are already on the drawing board,  For our Phillips County and regional businesses who were able to attend, I would ask that you share the information acquired with those businesses and community leaders that were not able to attend.  This will help the entire environment for the area.  I encourage all businesses not in attendance this year, and even those that were in attendance, to make plans for attending next year’s marketplace, if possible. 

Many say “Knowledge is power”, but “Knowledge is only acquired through active pursuit of education, and only education applied (acted on) benefits”.   Always strive to improve your businesses edge, through applying new proven (real world) information/education that works.  Networking is very important to marketing as well.  

PCED has some of the information acquired through the breakout sessions, but the majority of great information came from networking (questions and answers) during sessions  and between sessions.  Let us know if there is anything we can do to help with your business.  We may not know all the answers, but we will definately use our networking to try to find someone or group that can help find an answer. 

Endure, Grow, & Prosper