PITTSBURG, Ks. – Toast, located in Pittsburg’s Block 22, will soon be serving hungry students and folks who work downtown.
“Everyone is hiring right now, so we’re all fighting for good employees,” said Toast co-owner Heather Horton.
Toast is one of 9 new start-ups that got up and running in Pittsburg in 2019 after receiving guidance from Pittsburg’s Small Business Development Center.
“For Pittsburg, it’s been a very big year. Typically in Southeast Kansas for our territory, we do about 12 to 15 start-ups a year. To have 9 come out of Pittsburg alone is fantastic,” said the SBDC’s regional director, Randy Robinson.
The SBDC is a free service for Kansas businesses that’s funded by the Fed, the state, and Pittsburg State. They offer a bevy of services from financial advice and strategy, help to procure loans, accounting lessons with QuickBooks, and how to best use social media.
“We give them tips and techniques on how to go in and be an effective marketer without having to spend a whole lot of money,” said Robison.
Toast co-owner Heather Horton says the Pittsburg SBDC gave her quality advice when she started her first business with her husband, Sweet Designs Cakery.
“They helped us with a business plan. They asked those hard questions like, ‘What income do you think you’re going to have,’ and ‘How many people are going to walk through your door each day,’ breaking it down to ‘How many per hour,’ and ‘What are they buying,'” said Horton.
And she recommends other prospective Pittsburg entrepreneurs seek them out, because she says downtown Pittsburg is the place to make a living.
“When we bought our building, no one was here. Nobody was downtown. You would look out the door and you wouldn’t see people walking around. You wouldn’t see lights in the windows. It was dead. So to see from then to now, it’s kind of mind-blowing,” said Horton.