News - EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County
Guitarma receives Metropolitan E-Community Funding
Guitarma, a guitar-focused retail destination in downtown Lawrence, is the latest recipient of Metropolitan E-Community funding, a revolving loan fund that is administered by The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas. Guitarma describes itself as a one stop shop for music lovers that will include instruments and audio equipment, music memorabilia and records, with a business model built on giving back to the community.
“E-community funds will be instrumental – pun intended – in helping me secure a solid selection of inventory for local music lovers to appreciate,” said Casey Green, owner and founder of Guitarma. “It takes a lot to keep up with the ‘big guys,’ and this will help get me going on the right path.”
The purpose of the Metropolitan E-Community fund is to help entrepreneurs start or grow a business in a specific community. The loan program matches public sources of capital and bank loans and can provide up to $45,000 per project. Since its inception in 2017, the Lawrence fund has provided loans totaling $213,000 to eight local businesses.
“We are very fortunate to have a program like the Metro E-Community supporting visionary entrepreneurs like Casey as well as our local lenders,” said Adam Handshy, Director of Programs and Business Development. “Sometimes the numbers just won’t work for a deal and Metro allows lenders to de-risk a loan and still move forward with supporting an entrepreneurial endeavor. Guitarma is really a perfect candidate for e-community funds and has already proven to be a great addition to our vibrant downtown.”
To set itself apart, Green says a portion of Guitarma’s revenues will go to community programs. He also plans on looking for opportunities to host jam sessions and concerts, support non-profits and provide a family-friendly place for music enthusiasts to gather.
“It’s always been my goal to combine my passion for marketing and business administration with my passion for music,” Green said. “I’m more ready now that ever to bring my industry experience back to the community I love and strive daily to create a distinct home base for Lawrence’s burgeoning music scene.”
About The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas
The Chamber of Lawrence, Kansas is a membership organization focused on growth, leadership, and advocacy for the community. The mission of The Chamber is to promote growth and economic prosperity by serving as the leading business advocate, cultivating leadership & facilitating connectivity. Its current strategic plan priorities include strategic economic development, effective advocacy, business engagement, and visionary leadership. Learn more at www.lawrencechamber.com
About NetWork Kansas E-Communities Program
NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities create a revolving loan fund that is reviewed at the local level. The loans are intended as gap financing to help entrepreneurs start or grow a business in a specific community. The loan program matches public sources of capital and bank loans and can provide up to $45,000 per project. Funds are flexible and can be used for a variety of business purposes, including startup costs, purchasing an existing business, business expansion, working capital, inventory, and more. Lawrence is one of the first metropolitan e-communities. Douglas County is also an e-community.