Members of the Kansas State Marching Band and Manhattan Mayor Mark Hatesohl joined Chase Bank in Aggieville Tuesday as the business opened its first branch in Manhattan. Chase Bank donated $1,500 to Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills and $1,000 to Powercat Financial as part of the celebration.
Sheila Ellis-Glasper, founder and president of Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills, said the money will go toward technical assistance for the organization’s Black & Bankable event. The program teaches businesses how to be financially successful by reviewing the importance of credit and the processes of getting bank loans, pitching to investors and understanding financial projections.
“We have entrepreneurs from as far west as Junction City all the way to Kansas City and everywhere in between attending this event,” Ellis-Glasper said. “This year we are expecting 100 [people] in attendance.”
Ellis-Glasper said the technical assistance provides businesses with professionals to help repair credit, clean up their books and create marketing presentations. She says this holistic approach has changed the trajectory of many businesses, including Lindelani Ndou’s Linde Beauty Supply in Manhattan.
“She [Ndou] just opened one up in Ogden so now she has two locations,” Ellis-Glasper said. “We’ve seen a lot of business growth from the people that were in attendance. … And we’re bringing in some heavy hitters to really be able to make an impact on our entrepreneurs and teach them in a way that’s culturally competent.”
Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial, said the money will help support the organization and let it hire more student counselors as the service grows.
“It’s a big position for them and they are working to help other students with their financial well-being,” Kaus said. “Money can support the financial counselor program and then we support the entire campus.”
Keaton Verdict, a peer financial counselor at Powercat Financial, said each interaction at Powercat Financial is between two students which can be less daunting than going to businesses for help.
“If it’s as simple as trying to get a credit card, we go through and break down credit as a whole and make it easier on them and make their finances easier in the future,” Verdict said.
Kaus said they do not offer financial aid, but part of the financial education they offer includes connecting students to financial resources.
“We try to stay aware of all the other financial services on campus — financial aid, cashiers,” Kaus said. “We can draw those connections with the students and be the big picture, the long range planning, navigating student loans, repaying their student loan debt, all those things.”
Kiley Sidman, associate market director at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said Chase chose the two donation recipients because they fit Chase’s mission statement to make dreams possible for everyone.
“The Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills are really bringing that diversity, equity and inclusion side to the community,” Sidman said. “The financial education piece or the financial help with Powercat Financial was the other one. … They really fit well with what our purpose is.”
Hatesohl said he expects Chase to play a part in financing larger projects as the city grows. He said it will be a great opportunity for the community having one of the big four banks in America in Manhattan.
“When Chase enters a community, it brings a commitment to providing first class financial services, plus a passion to provide financial health services to help close the racial wealth gap,” Hatesohl said. “I’m looking forward to Chase supporting the community and being an excellent partner in meeting the financial needs of the community.”
Carrie Rowe, Chase’s Manhattan branch manager, said Chase is excited to be here and has its local team working hard to provide the community its financial services.
Editor’s note: Corrected captions and attributions.