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Posted on: July 24, 2023

Grant to Assist with Childcare Challenge

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Before getting into this week’s topic, the staff at the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Roger Sink and the staff of Sink, Gordon & Associates. Mr. Sink passed away Sunday after a short illness.

Roger was a legend in the Manhattan business community after a 65-year career with the accounting firm that today bears his name. During that career, he was active with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce including a stint as the “President” (which today we call Chair) of the Board of Directors in 1986.

Mr. Sink was always very accessible and open to conversations with me when I started at the Chamber in 2019. I appreciated his knowledge and candor. The Chamber is a better organization for his involvement and our community is a better place because of his commitment to Manhattan. Read his obituary here.

In other news, hopefully you all saw the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation’s notification that it will receive a $2 million+ grant from the State of Kansas for a childcare accelerator to be constructed in Manhattan on the Ascension Via Christi campus.

While we are also hopeful to receive good news on another grant opportunity, we will start the hard work on design of the new facility and programming. As a reminder, the concept for the accelerator came from a childcare task force started after a regional leader’s retreat in 2021. Childcare is often cited as a leading hinderance to an individual entering the workforce and we have significant gap in available spots and actual demand

Our concept is unique from other applications in that we are looking to create a space where new childcare entrepreneurs can start their business. It is a great concept in part because it is using a business solution to address the challenge. 

The accelerator will operate in some ways like a business incubator and the documented success rates of businesses launched from this kind of program greatly exceeds businesses that start on their own. Additionally, instead of a new center that has a static number of openings, we are hoping to generate up to eight new childcare businesses every two years, greatly increasing the number of spots for children in the Manhattan region.

Look for more information as plans start to come together.

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