Archive for Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Company moving from Olathe to Shawnee approved for SEED loan

February 25, 2015

An Olathe company is moving to Shawnee, and the business received approval from the city for forgivable loans that will cover moving expenses, build-out costs and new equipment.

The Shawnee City Council approved the Shawnee Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) forgivable loan program for the company for $23,400 with a unanimous vote.

General Automatic Sprinkler Fire Protection Co., Inc., is owned by Shawnee resident Kevin Eubanks, who plans to move their existing location to 79th Street and Switzer Road to fill an approximately 11,500-square-foot space. The business, Eubanks says, will bring 16 jobs to Shawnee with potential for two to three more by April 2015. The company pays an average salary of $65,000 which would generate more than $3.5 million in new payroll in Shawnee over the three-year term of the SEED loan.

"Our company is small and our employees are loyal, which means many current employees will be moving with us," Eubanks said in a statement to the council.

General Automatic Sprinkler Fire Protection Company is a full-service protection company that provides installation, inspections, testing and maintenance services throughout the Kansas City area. Eubanks has worked for the company for 27 years and recently acquired the company from the previous owners.

The city's SEED program provides a business with an initial one-time payment with increments of the loan forgiven over time as specified targets are met. The amount of the loan is generally determined as 1.5 percent of committed new payroll with an additional .5 percent awarded for meeting other criteria such as hiring Shawnee residents, using Shawnee-based contractors and vendors or making a substantial contribution to a Shawnee-based charitable organization.

General Automatic Sprinkler Fire Protection's SEED agreement states that they will be eligible for the loan as long as their average employee salary remains $65,000 or greater and they maintain at least 16 employees. The agreement will be reviewed annually and if the company meets its requirements, $7,800 will be forgiven from the loan. If they do not meet the requirements, that amount would not be forgiven and would become due following the annual review.

Eubanks said he plans to make a considerable investment in Shawnee by spending about $20,000 annually with local vendors Shawnee Mission Ford, Home Depot, Lowe's, Office Max and Hartman Hardware. Eubanks' company also plans to donate $500 annually to Rebuilding Together Shawnee, a local nonprofit that helps Shawnee homeowners in need with house rehabilitation and repair.

Eubanks has lived in Shawnee with his family for 23 years.

"We hope to make Shawnee General Automatic Sprinkler Fire Protection's home," Eubanks said.

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