Your Chamber at Work - March 6, 2023




Great news last week with the announcement that H&R Block will contribute $10-million toward the creation of the South Loop Project, or, as some describe it, “putting a lid over I-670.”

The $200-million South Loop Project would cap I-670 between Grand and Wyandotte and top it with an urban park connecting the Downtown Business District and the Crossroads District.

So far a total of $46-million in private funding has been raised. In addition to H&R Block, JE Dunn, Loews Hotels, the Cordish Companies and others have pledged dollars toward the construction.

If you’d like to learn more about the project and share what you’d like to see the new urban park include, you can attend tomorrow’s (Tuesday, March 7) Open House from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kirk Family YMCA, 222 West 11th Street, KCMO.

The South Loop Project is an exciting idea that would ameliorate the disconnect between Downtown and the Crossroads created by the construction of I-670.

One of the inspirations for the project is the Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. The park is an urban green space built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway connecting downtown Dallas and the Dallas Arts District. It attracts more than one million visitors a year and features a children’s area, dog park, fountains, daily activities (like yoga, tai chi, Zumba, and ballroom dancing). It’s been so successful that the park is now working on expanding its space, hoping to add another 1.7 acres over the freeway.

In the KC Chamber’s 2016 Leadership Exchange to Dallas, one of the highlights for our group of business, civic, elected and nonprofit leaders was a visit to the Klyde Warren Park. Following that visit, momentum has built for Kansas City’s version over I-670.

Wouldn’t it be great if the project could be ready in time for the thousands of visitors coming to KC for the World Cup in 2026?


Register now for our 8th Annual Healthy KC Breakfast & Vendor Expo, 8 to 10 a.m., March 9, at Hy-Vee Arena. Come celebrate KC’s Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certified companies and learn how to use health and wellness to retain employees. This year’s theme is Filling the Gap: A Holistic Approach to Retention. We'll also learn about the 2023 Healthy KC Certification. The event is $35 for Chamber members and $45 for non-members. Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.


Join us at our next Neighborhood Networking with the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City, Friday March 8, 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Eleos Coffee House, 3401 Independence Ave. Enjoy great coffee from Eleos, and connect with the incredible HEDC staff. Hear how they develop and implement economic development initiatives that positively contribute to the quality of life for Latinos in the Greater Kansas City area. Neighborhood Networking is free for Chamber members and $15 for non-members. Register here. Special thanks to our 2023 overall networking sponsor Delta Dental and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City The 2023 Neighborhood Networking Sponsors are Rock CFO, Southwest Airlines & Unbound.


Canada imports more than $2 billion worth of Kansas City goods each year. Does that include your products? Register for the World Trade Center Kansas City’s Doing Business with Canada, Wednesday March 15 at 11:30 a.m. in the KC Chamber Board Room. Be part of this exclusive business roundtable – which includes lunch – as you hear from the trade team from the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago. Learn about industry outlooks, best practices for business success between KC and Canada, and more. This event is free but you must register here to save a spot.


Apply now to be named the Small Business of the Year! You have until the March 15 deadline. Chamber members can also apply for the Specialty Awards: Emerging Small Business, Small Business Equity, Legacy of Kansas City, and Weida Award for International Small Business of the Year. Have questions about your application? Watch our virtual application workshop for guidance and advice from past winners, candidates, and judges. Once the applications close, don’t forget about the Candidates’ Showcase! The public is welcome to see all candidates for the 2023 awards on April 4 at 5:30 in the center of Union Station’s Grand Plaza. Our Small Business Presenting Sponsor is Evergy. Our Small Business CEO Sponsor is Kansas City National Security Campus, managed by Honeywell FM&T. Our Small Business Superstars Presenting Sponsor is EAG Advertising and Marketing. Our Media Sponsor is Startland News. Our Superstar Sponsors are FastSigns Overland Park and Strang Chef Collective. Our Top 10 Announcement Event Presenting Sponsor is UMB Bank. Our Top 10 Reception Event Presenting Sponsor is Bank Midwest. Our Awards Luncheon Presenting Sponsor is Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Our Executive Sponsors are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, CommunityAmerica Credit Union. Our Partner Sponsors are Commerce Bank, Meta. Our Associate Sponsors are Arvest Bank, Country Club Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust, H&R Block, Mazuma Credit Union, Menlo, PNC Bank, Southwest Airlines, US Bank.