Wichita County Economic Development



Wichita County Economic Development, Inc. was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1996 for the purpose of economic and community development in Wichita County.

In 1999, Wichita County was designated a Rural Enterprise Community through the Federal Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities initiative. This designation provides for assistance through USDA Rural Development with business and community development needs.

Through this designation, Wichita County Economic Development has established a Revolving Loan Fund to assist new businesses with start-up needs and existing businesses with expansion needs.

The Wichita County Business CARE Center and Incubator was also developed to assist businesses through education and start-up assistance.


The Wichita County Economic Development, Inc. will stimulate and rejuvenate Wichita County through unified community partnerships and creative resources to attain:

  • Innovative agriculture and industry
  • Successful businesses
  • Superior education
  • Progressive health care
  • Strong infrastructure
  • Diverse recreational and cultural opportunities
  • A friendly, positive, and safe environment

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For Residents & Visitors

General Information

Wichita Economic Development

Business C.A.R.E. Center

102 W. Broadway
Leoti, KS 67861

The Wichita County Business CARE Center is available to rent for business, educational and social purposes. The CARE Center has a basic kitchen, is Wi-Fi connected and has flexible seating for up to 30 people. Contact WCED for fees and available dates.

WCED can help provide additional technology if needed.

Staff & Board of Directors

Staff Board of Directors

Economic Development Staff

Wichita County Economic Development, Inc. is staffed by Nikki Bjurstrom as Director of Economic Development and Darla Lewis as Director of Community Engagement. The team began their careers with WCED in 2019 with backgrounds in strong local business and non-profit relationships and positive local government partnerships, as well as grant work and a love for the community of Wichita County. Bjurstrom, Lewis, and the WCED Board of Directors are a motivated group of leaders focusing on community partnerships and teamwork with the understanding that it is central to the success of their efforts.

Dedicated to promoting economic growth and stability, WCED provides progressive leadership for the betterment of Wichita County by defining the problems of their rural community and mapping out solutions to these problems.

Economic Development Board of Directors

Wichita County Economic Development is directed by a 14-member board that includes representatives from City Council, County Commission, education, business, agriculture, senior citizens, youth and minority populations. Members of the Board of Directors are:

Krystal Cox, President
VP Carol Laws, Vice President
Leslie Niswonger, Secretary
Vic Case, Treasurer
Kelma Burch
Aimee Burch
Joy Brown
Wyatt Gardner
Julie Beedy
Abby Kessler
Zoey Reed
Nikki Bjurstrom, Director of Economic Development
Darla Lewis, Director of Community of Engagement

Wichita County Economic Development

Community Calendar

Wichita County Economic Development

Community Calendar