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Salina is the retail hub and trading center of a 24-county area in north central Kansas. In the past year, retail sales increased by more than 4% year over year with recent retail sales activity in Salina increasing at a faster pace as other areas of the state were declining.  Salina has a high (1.535) pull factor reflecting the overall strength of the community as a regional retail hub.  Major retail firms opening or expanding in the past few years include Menard's, Kohl's, PETCO, Old Navy, Hobby Lobby, Logan's Roadhouse,  Buffalo Wild Wings, 5 new small local restaurants and a rejuvenated Ashley's Furniture Store. 


The Community is very responsive to the retail entrepreneur.  To that end a series of programs have been created that both encourage and provide educational support for the development of our retail businesses.  Project OPEN was started in 2009 to provide entrepreneurial education and technical business support to entrepreneurs who already own or want to start a business in Saline County.  To participate in the program, applicants must reside in Saline County Kansas or own a small business in Salina Kansas.  Applicants must successfully complete entrepreneur training including the writing of a complete business plan prior to qualifying for Business Development Funds.


Funding for Project Open is provided by the City of Salina, Salina Economic Development Incentive Council, Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, Salina Downtown, Inc. and in part, is made possible by funds from the Kansas Rural Business Development Tax Credit Program as administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce and as invested by the North Central Kansas Community Network Co.  Application for these funding programs are open quarterly, in February, May, August and November, specific dates are announced annually.  Additional information about Project OPEN can be found on the website located on the attached pages.


Salina is a growing and vibrant community with an excellent standard of living for its residents.  Located at the junction of two major cross-country interstate highways, the community has built upon its agricultural roots diversifying into the global economy with concentrations in high-tech manufacturing, active retail and service sector, finance and insurance, a regional center for advanced medical care, and higher education with a relatively smaller and more efficient government workforce. Moreover, Salina offers a flourishing lifestyle with a sophisticated arts community, entertainment, live theater, recreation, cultural activities and three regional education centers plus a Big 12 satellite college campus