Category Archives: Business

Walgreens: Offering In-Store Products Through the Pharmacy Drive-Through

Sending the email below on behalf of
Chamber Member
Walgreens of Fort Scott
Visit website to search products, click HERE!
Thank you for your Chamber partnership!
Offering in store products through the Pharmacy Drive-Thru Window!

Hospitality Business Loans Awarded

$5 million of HIRE Fund loans have been awarded to Kansas hospitality businesses


Topeka, Kan. – Within 48 hours of Governor Laura Kelly announcing the establishment of the Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund, all $5 million allocated for the loan program have been awarded.

“The hospitality industry in Kansas was one of the first to be hit financially by the COVID-19 crisis,” Governor Kelly said. “Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland and the teams at Commerce and NetWork Kansas moved swiftly to stand up the HIRE Fund program and process applications in a short period to help us quickly get these critical dollars into the hands of hospitality businesses across the state.”

The initial response to the HIRE Fund program was overwhelming. More than 1,400 applications for funding were received, with more than 800 submitted within 24 hours of the program being announced.

In total, 344 Kansas hospitality businesses will receive HIRE Fund loans. In the Kansas City metro area, $2 million will be distributed amongst 136 businesses; in Sedgwick County, $1 million will be distributed to 68 companies; and across the rest of the state, $2 million will be distributed to 140 businesses.

“We know that many Kansas businesses are struggling right now, and we know that $5 million doesn’t come close to making up the losses that the hospitality industry and others have and will continue to incur,” Secretary Toland said. “But anything we can do – no matter how big or how small – to infuse dollars into Kansas businesses to help them make payroll, pay their electric bills or meet their mortgage obligations, we’re going to do it.”

The HIRE Fund, which was announced Friday, March 20, offers Kansas hospitality businesses including event and convention centers, restaurants, bars and lodging facilities one-time, zero-interest loans up to $20,000. The program is administered by NetWork Kansas, a non-profit with a system of small business loan underwriters across 64 Kansas counties.

“Standing up a new loan fund within a matter of days wouldn’t have been possible without our partners at NetWork Kansas,” Secretary Toland said. “Their team spent hours over the weekend processing and responding to the hundreds of applications received, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support to get these dollars quickly into the hands of those who need it most right now.”

While there are no funds currently available, applications are still be accepted should future dollars for the HIRE Fund be made available. Hospitality businesses should visit to complete their application.

Businesses also can apply for federal disaster loan assistance up to $2 million through the U.S. Small Business Administration at

For more information about the Kansas response to COVID-19, please visit: To access resources available to businesses, please visit


Common Ground Open And Has New Drive-Through Window

Brady Masters, Fort Scott,  gives change to a coffee customer at the new Common Ground Coffee Co. ‘drive-through window, which opened March 23.. Courtesy photo.

Common Ground Coffee Co. moved locations a few blocks down and around the corner and  is now located at 12 E. Wall.

A new drive-through window was opened yesterday, March 23 and can be accessed in the alley east of the coffee shop.

“We were closed March 7th-10th and reopened on Wednesday, March 11th,” Kaitlynn Davis, events planner for the coffee company said.  “If you give our Facebook profile a follow at Common Ground Coffee Co., you will be able to find our… menu.”

Menu on the wall of Common Ground Coffee Company. Kenny Felt Photography.

They are not open for the dine-in option currently, because of the emergency disaster declaration from the government due to COVID 19 virus fears.

There is online ordering or a take-out menu can be picked up at the drive-through window, Brady Masters, an employee said.

Approach the new drive-thru window from  First Street in the alley between National Avenue and Main St.

“You will have to dodge some holes, poles and a dumpster but it will be worth it,” according to the Common Ground Coffee Company Facebook page.

“All you have to do is give Common Ground Coffee a call at 620-223-2499, and we will be more than happy to serve you,” Davis said. The hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Common Ground Coffee Company, 12 E. Wall. Kenny Felt Photography.

“The current up to date menu for Common Ground Coffee Company is on our website, which is,” Davis said.


“We have 17 hard-working employees…” Davis said.  “All of our employees are put through a training process that takes place in Kansas City, Kansas. They all learn specialized skills in Kansas City that they bring to the coffee shop and use to serve our beloved costumers.”

Common Ground Coffee Company, 12 E. Wall. Kenny Felt Photography.

The owner of Common Ground is the Fort Scott Nazarene Church, the owners of the newly restored building in which it is housed are Adam and Jennifer LaRoche, Davis said.

Common Ground is a non-profit organization owned by Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene. They strive to unite the community by providing a “Common Ground” experience.

“All who wish to stop in, newcomers and regulars alike, are welcome as they partner with us to benefit our community with all profits made,” according to its’ Facebook page.

Common Ground Coffee Company, 12 E. Wall. Kenny Felt Photography.

Did You Display Art Work At the Former Coffee Shop Site?

The former coffee shop space had many artist’s paintings displayed.  The paintings were not able to move with the shop.

See their Facebook page for photos of the artwork that is looking for its’ owner.

Non-Essential Businesses Closed, Restrictions Put In Place For Others Following First COVID 19 Report In Bourbon County

Rebecca Johnson, SEKMCHD Director.

Following the notification of the first COVID 19 positive test in Bourbon County, officials are requiring more stringent measures.


“We were saddened to learn of the resident in Bourbon County, KS who tested positive for COVID-19,” according to the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department Facebook page.  “The resident and their family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Let’s use this time to all work towards the same goal of preventing the spread of the virus further. This will not be easy, nor very enjoyable, but for the health and future of our communities, we must at least try. Thank you for your continued support and understanding, as we continue to serve our counties.”

This morning on the City of Fort Scott Facebook page, Bourbon County Public Health Officer Rebecca Johnson said:

“Daycares should not take any new enrollees from out of county.

Hotels increase cleaning and disinfecting practices especially after every person checks out.

School staff, food service workers, and volunteers will be allowed to provide, prepare and deliver meals. Social distancing greater than six feet and less than 10 minutes shall be enforced.

There will be more guidelines to follow.”

The following was an order published at  8 p.m.last evening on March 22, 2020, by Bourbon County Public Health Officer Johnson.

The following actions are officially implemented by the Bourbon County Public Health Officer and shall be in official force and effect at 8:00 PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

This order shall remain in effect until modified or rescinded by the Public Health Officer.

This Order is made under the powers granted the Local Public Health Officer in KSA 65-119 et seq. and the Emergency Declarations of the governments of the United States, the State of Kansas, and Bourbon County, as well as the Home Rule powers of Bourbon County under state statute.

Bourbon County is now restricting or prohibiting business activities for all non-essential businesses and is making recommendations for essential business functions as follows:

Essential Businesses

The following have been determined to be essential business functions for Bourbon County:

Grocery Stores shall be allowed to remain open to the public for business to supply needed food and supplies to the citizens of Bourbon County. It is recommended that these stores take precautions to reduce in-person contacts as much as possible, maintain social distancing (6 foot or more) when practical, and consider using curb-side service whenever possible.

Convenient Stores/Gas Stations shall remain open to the public.

It is recommended that these stores take precautions to reduce in-person contacts as much as possible, maintain social-distancing (6 foot or more) when practical, and shall eliminate gathering places within the store to prevent social grouping activities.

Funeral Homes are allowed to remain open but efforts should be made to reduce numbers (family only gatherings recommended) and shall work to limit crowds and shall strive to maintain the recommended social distancing as described above.

Health Care Facilities and Providers/Veterinary Clinics shall remain open and use social distancing and other techniques as applicable to help prevent the virus spread.

Providers may want to have patients/customers stay in cars until their turn to avoid waiting area congestion and issues with maintaining social distancing.

Utility Providers shall be allowed to remain open.

It is recommended that providers take steps to limit work-to-worker interactions to help reduce the chance for losing multiple workers and/or causing utility disruptions. Calls for service to individual residences should be pre-screened before entering those locations.

Banks & Pharmacies shall be allowed to remain open for business. Whenever possible, it is recommended to close lobbies and inside operations and use the drive-through’ s to conduct necessary business. People who are allowed to come inside the business should be prescreened before allowing entry.

Non-Essential Businesses (Allowed Open with Restrictions)

The following businesses have been determined to be non-essential businesses as related to this pandemic, however, they will be allowed to remain open with the following restrictions as described below.

These restrictions shall be implemented by no later than noon, Monday, March 23, 2020, and shall remain in a restricted status until this order is rescinded by the Public Health Officer.

Parts Stores/Lumber Yards/Hardware Stores shall be allowed to remain open, however, public access to the inside of the store shall be prohibited. These businesses should use delivery or curb-side service and maintain social distancing as much as possible during those activities.

Bars/Restaurants-These businesses shall be allowed to remain open for business, however, public access to the inside of the bar/restaurant shall be prohibited. These businesses should use delivery or curb-side service and maintain social distancing as much as possible during those activities.

Manufacturing-Manufacturing businesses shall be allowed to remain open, however, public access to the facilities shall be prohibited. All efforts should be made to maintain social distancing between workers whenever possible.

Agricultural Business shall be allowed to remain open, however, public access to the inside of the store shall be prohibited. These businesses should use delivery or curb-side service and maintain social distancing as much as possible during those activities.

Automotive Repair Shops shall be allowed to remain open, however, public access to the buildings and facilities shall be extremely limited. All efforts should be made to maintain social distancing between individual workers and between workers and customers whenever possible.

Other Retail Sales not identified above may remain in operation but the business shall keep doors closed and restrict business to one customer at a time inside the store. Examples include liquor stores, gun stores, pawn shops, and other similar business types.

Non-Essential Businesses (Closed/Shut-Down)

The following businesses types have been determined to be non-essential as related to the pandemic and shall be closed/shut down no later than noon, Monday, March 23, 2020, and shall remain shut until this order is rescinded by the Public Health Officer:

Barber/Beauty Shops shall be shut down as there is no practical way to maintain social distancing.

Fitness Centers/Gyms shall be shut down.

Libraries“-We appreciate the fact that the library in Bourbon County has already voluntarily shut down to help assist lessening the spread of COVID-19. Libraries shall close or remain closed to the public until the order is rescinded,” according to Johnson.

Other Businesses-Businesses not otherwise described that cannot maintain or attempt to maintain the 6-foot social distancing shall be closed until this order is rescinded. This would include any businesses that by its very nature direct person-to-person contact of fewer than 6 feet.

If your business type is not specifically included or defined by the above information and you have questions on what, if any restrictions apply, please call (620)223-4464 for guidance.

“If sick, stay home,” Johnson said. “Stay away from people that are ill, especially vulnerable populations (with diseases and the elderly), avoid face to face time, more than six feet apart for less than 10 minutues.”

“Practice personal hygiene habits of handwashing after bathroom, before eating, if you sneeze or cough or handshake. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.”

Johnson is part of the SEK Multi-County Health Department. Her office is located at 6th and Lowman Streets.


Bourbon County State of Emergency Declaration


Sunday , March 22, 20202, Bourbon County Emergency Management announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19, Coronavirus, in Bourbon County. The announcement was followed by a Bourbon County Commission meeting where, after a short executive session, a COVID-19 Emergency Resolution was unanimously adopted. The resolution declares a state of local health public emergency within Bourbon County for 60 days or until recovered earlier.

Pursuant to the power granted to the Local Public Health Officer in KSA 65-119 et seq and the Emergency Declarations of the Governments, Becky Johnson, Public Health Officer, issued a mandate to go into full force and effect at 8:00 PM Sunday March 22, 2020. The order restricts or prohibits business activities for all non-essential businesses and made restrictions for essential business. The full mandate is available online at Businesses with questions or concerns regarding the mandate can call the health department at (620)223-4464 for guidance.

Links to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the Department for Children and Families and will be available on one page to make it easier for Kansans to keep updated on the virus and resources available to assist them during this challenging time. at For the most up to date information on the COVID-19 Coronavirus, go to

We understand the substantial impact COVID-19 has on businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) have offered low interest loans as a response. SBA Disaster relief loans are now open for all Kansas communities and available to apply online at The loan is low interest; no higher than 3.75%.  Each loan is made on a case by case basis, with terms up to 30 years, are based on ability to pay.  The maximum amount of the loan is $2 million.  There are no lending institutions involved in this process, the loan is straight through the SBA.  


The State of Kansas is offering the Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) loan. This is a zero percent interest loan for a maximum of $20,000 for 36 months.  There will be no principle or interest payment due for the first four months. You can apply online here:

Loan funds can be used for current fixed debt and short-term working capital. Examples include making payments to commercial loan payments, commercial lease payments, utility bills, payroll, accounts payable or inventory. “We are encouraging businesses to consolidate fix debts into lower interest rate loans, while including short term working capital, when applying for relief loans,” Jody Hoener, Economic Development Director said. “We have intentionally made ourselves available to assist in the application process. Every day more and more businesses are reaching out.”

More information on the Bourbon County Economic Development or Emergency Management resources and assistance is available by contacting Jody Hoener, Economic Development Director, at 620-215-5725/ or William Wallace, Emergency Management, at 620-223-3800 ext 124/

# # #

About Bourbon County Emergency Management (EM)

There are four key purposes to emergency management: Preparedness. Response. Recovery. Mitigation. Bourbon County Emergency Management (EM) is trained for disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious public health risk.  EM are the contact for state and federal emergency response programs for recovery of disaster situations. For most up to date information check out the Bourbon County Corona Virus Updates page.

Public Health Director Orders Non Essential Bourbon County Businesses to Close

Public Health Director Rebecca Johnson sent the following order:

SEK MCHD 3-22-20 Order(1)

The order lists a number of businesses that will be allowed to remain opened and businesses that should be closed along with restrictions for the businesses that will remain open.

Grocery, healthcare, convenience stores, and gas stations will remain open but are encouraged to reduce social interactions as much as possible and use curbside service where feasible.

KS Small Business Disaster Loan

Kansas small businesses eligible for disaster loans from the Small Business Administration


Topeka, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration approved her request to make loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses disrupted by coronavirus. The disaster declaration extends to all 105 Kansas counties, making low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital available for Kansas small businesses suffering substantial economic injury.

“The COVID-19 outbreak and the uncertainty around its spread has had, and continues to have, a significant impact on Kansas businesses,” Governor Kelly said. “I’m grateful for the combined efforts of businesses, the Department of Commerce and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management to quickly pull together the data that made it possible for Kansas to receive this designation and begin getting support to the small Kansas businesses that need it during this emergency situation.”

Kansas small businesses can begin applying for disaster loan assistance through the SBA at SBA customer service representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“SBA’s disaster loans are a powerful tool to help our state’s small businesses weather this temporary storm,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The Department of Commerce is grateful for the SBA’s quick action to make these resources available and for their commitment to keeping Kansas businesses strong.”

SBA loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills because of the disaster’s impact.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private non-profit organizations.

Businesses may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at

For more information about the Kansas response to COVID-19, please visit:

Grand Opening Postponed: Old Fort Auto

Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting
Old Fort Auto
will be “POSTPONED”
until further notice.
213 Scott Ave. in the
Downtown Historic District
Business partners Rich Aydelotte &
Matt Harvey will be eager
to meet everyone, and share their
business & community goals!
Featuring used cars, trucks & SUV’s!
Click here to visit them on Facebook,
Click here to visit their website!

Apex Energy/Bourbon County Commission Agreements Signed

Wind turbines just off  Kansas Hwy. 59 in Allen County.

The controversial wind energy business is coming to Bourbon County.


Following a request to Apex Clean Energy, the wind energy company from Charlottesville, Virginia for specifics on the project, the following statement was provided.


Apex Clean Energy entered into five agreements with the  Bourbon County Commission last Friday, March 13, according to Helen Humphreys, public engagement manager for Apex.


“In addition to setting out how Jayhawk Wind (Jayhawk) will operate in the community, the agreements also empower the county to enforce the provisions and ensure residents’ concerns are addressed both during the construction process and once the project is operational,” according to the press release provided FortScott.Biz.


Julianna Pianelli, Apex Project Development Manager, said, “We appreciate the Bourbon County commissioners for their careful, objective review of the Jayhawk Wind agreements. We know that economic opportunity has been a priority for the county, and we are proud that Jayhawk will provide a new source of revenue, new jobs, and new customers for local businesses.”


The agreements with Bourbon County Commissioners are unique No other entity or individuals are similarly restricted in the use of county roads and given that Bourbon County does not have zoning restrictions, several of these agreements are entirely voluntary and reflect Apex’s commitment to community engagement, according to information provided by Humpherys.

Standing at the bottom of a wind turbine looking up at the clear Kansas sky.


The following was sent from Humphreys regarding the agreements with the Bourbon County Commission.


“Decommissioning Agreement

Decommissioning agreements are common in the wind industry and ensure that financial resources are available to remove the turbines and related facilities at the end of a project’s lifespan. The Jayhawk Decommissioning Agreement:

  • Specifies that the turbines, and related equipment, will be removed by the project owner when the project is complete; and
  • Requires that, on the 10th anniversary of the completion of construction, Jayhawk Wind will place a performance bond, letter of credit, or other security acceptable to the county to cover the net removal cost in an amount determined by an engineer selected by the county.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10726320200313102218-c-c-c

Contribution Agreement

The Contribution Agreement details the financial donation Jayhawk will make to Bourbon County if the project enters construction. Kansas law exempts renewable energy projects like Jayhawk from property taxes for the first ten years of operation, just as it does with a property such as farm equipment and other sources of energy production. In place of these taxes, wind developers often propose to donate funds to a county through a voluntary contribution agreement because we believe it is important that a project directly benefits its community.

In the Bourbon agreements, Jayhawk committed to making an initial payment of $407,812.50 to Bourbon County upon receiving notice to proceed with construction. This payment will be followed by nine annual payments of $365,625, and a final annual payment of $182,813.

After 10 years of operation, the tax exemption will expire, and Jayhawk will pay property taxes to the municipalities and school districts in which the project is located. According to the Jayhawk Wind Economic Impact Analysis:

  • Bourbon County will receive annual revenues of $586,380 and a total of $11.4 million over the projected 25-year life of the project;
  • Uniontown Unified School District will receive $387,000 annually beginning in year 11 and a total of $5.8 million;
  • Girard Unified School District will receive $203,000 annually beginning in year 11 and a total of $3 million; and
  • Erie Unified School District will receive $38,00 annually beginning in year 11 and a total of $572,000.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10726020200313102002-c-c-c

Road Use Agreement

The Road Use Agreement (RUA) clearly outlines Jayhawk’s obligation to maintain or improve the county roadways it will use. According to the agreement, the county will prepare a pre-construction road survey and establish an inventory of the roads before construction. These tools will be used to both mitigate project impacts on local traffic during construction and to determine what repairs and improvements will be needed to return the roads to pre-construction condition.

Also, vehicles with a combined weight of 80,000 pounds or more will be required to stay on approved transportation routes.

Jayhawk Wind agrees to return the roads it uses during construction to a condition that is “as good or better” to that existing before construction. Also, Jayhawk will be obligated to make repairs to any roads damaged during construction that create a hazard to the traveling public.

The RUA ensures Bourbon County has the resources needed to oversee the project and details how Jayhawk Wind will coordinate with county officials, by providing:

  • $50,000 for the County to hire outside engineering or added employee costs;
  • $250,000 security provided by Jayhawk before construction begins to guarantee its obligations under the RUA;
  • Proof that Jayhawk shall maintain $3,000,000 in insurance; and
  • That even after Jayhawk becomes operational, larger projects for which Jayhawk must use county roads will require Jayhawk to purchase a bond and ensure damage resulting from its road use is repaired.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10725620200313101557-c-c-c

Development Agreement

While Bourbon County is not a zoned county, Jayhawk voluntarily agreed to a few project design restrictions including:

  • Sound from each turbine shall be less than 50 dBA at any non-participating home;
  • Turbines shall be set no less than 1,400 feet from any non-participating home;
  • Turbines shall be set back no less than 1.1 times the height of the turbine from any non-participating property line;
  • Turbines shall be set back no less than 1.1 times the height of the turbine from any county road; and
  • Turbines shall be tubular towers and lighting shall be by the FAA.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10725720200313101736-c (Signature Edit)-c-c

Complaint Resolution Agreement

Jayhawk agreed to a complaint resolution process that ensures members of the public who make a complaint can have confidence that their concerns will be addressed. Moreover, it empowers the county to order a review of unresolved complaints by an independent engineer. The Development Agreement requires Jayhawk to:

  • Establish a “24/7” single point of contact to take claims or issues and respond to complaints within five business days;
  • Maintain a record of complaints received and resolve any deemed to violate the Development Agreement; and
  • Be bound by the decision of a third-party engineer during dispute resolution between the county and the project.”
  • To view the document:
  • doc10725920200313101859-c-c-c

“Cumulatively, these agreements enable the continued development of Jayhawk while providing certainty for Bourbon County that all residents will benefit either directly or indirectly from the project,” according to the information provided by Humphreys.

The Jayhawk Wind project is expected to be operational in 2021.according to the information from Humphreys. It will produce enough power to supply 70,000 average U.S. homes and will also provide significant economic benefits for the local economy, according to the information.  This includes the creation of more than 115 construction jobs and seven long-term operations positions.