Meet the Bracket: 16 of Kansas City's Main Street Businesses
Entrepreneurs and the companies they lead are different—and that’s exactly what makes working in this field, in matching entrepreneurs with the right resource at the right time, both exhilarating and challenging.
Which is a good thing, because the Kansas City economy is based on many different kinds of businesses—Main Street businesses, innovation-led enterprises, second-stage firms and microenterprises—and each play a different role in creating our city’s character and defining our economy.
(Read more about the four types of entrepreneurship from Maria Meyers, our leader and director of the UMKC Innovation Center.)
What Is a Main Street Business?
Main Street companies make up a large segment of our economy, serve communities’ growing populations and define our cultural character. You’ll recognize these entrepreneurs among your restaurateur, franchisee, local housewares store, independent bookseller or graphic design boutique.
Typically, Main Street entrepreneurs aren’t driven by rapid growth. The founders create them to build a successful career in their area of passion and expertise and plan to work in the company for a long time, although our bracket holds plenty of examples of companies that have moved well beyond Main Street (and could even be jointly classified as second-stage companies).
The “Coaches” of Kansas City Main Street Businesses
With 240+ Resource Partners in the KCSourceLink network, navigating the wide expanse of business-building resources can be daunting, to be sure. Over the past 10 years, we’ve mapped (literally, we published an actual map) and categorized entrepreneur support organizations across the 18-county Kansas City region. And this is what we’ve found: support organizations cluster, just like the businesses they serve.
Main Street businesses often find the help they need to launch and grow through:
- Small Business Development Centers (SBA)
- Non-technology incubators
- Online library and trainings
- Economic Development Corporations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Women’s Business Centers
- Community Colleges
- Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Our Resource Navigator helps you find, filter and map the right matches for your innovation based on your need, your business stage and/or your location.
Meet the Main Streeters in the Battle of the Brands
Out of companies’ nominations, you chose the 16 Main Street businesses that will represent Kansas City in this year’s Battle of the Brands. Only 3 of the 16—Boulevard Brewing Company, Jess and Jim's Steakhouse and the Local Pig—have competed before. The rest of the bracket are newbies, and we can't wait to meet them and see their Battle style.
And so, here are your contenders—and quick links to learn more about them on their own websites and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter:
Boulevard Brewing Company
Cinder Block Brewery
Jess & Jim’s Steak House
Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que
The Local Pig
Martin City Brewery
Ruby Jean's Juicery
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza
Underdog Wine Co.