During the month of May we celebrate National Small Business week. As the Kansas State Treasurer, I have had the privilege of working with small businesses in many capacities. One of my favorites is when I have the opportunity to reunite small businesses with money that has somehow gone unclaimed.
Currently the Treasurer’s office has over $50 million dollars that belongs to “non-human entities”, which means businesses, schools, cities, counties, and the like. Of that 50 million, the bulk belongs to small businesses like family farms, local gas stations, lawn care businesses, corner cafes.
Kansans are tremendously vigilant when it comes to searching our website for themselves and/or their loved ones but it’s important to know that roughly 15% of the missing money that the state owes your community is owed to the businesses within your community. Local businesses often invest locally and it is gratifying to watch unclaimed money go from just sitting in Topeka to being returned and reinvested within communities throughout the state.
One such opportunity came about last year when our office was touring all 105 Kansas counties conducting local searches to connect Kansans with their unclaimed cash.
In the city of Sedan, a local resident noticed a substantial sum of money that belonged to the Sedan City hospital. She reached out to the hospital administrator and they were able to claim $24,000, just the amount they needed to finish the hospital’s aging roof.
Both the hospital and the residents of Sedan were delighted at the windfall. The new roof meant they could finish the much-needed renovations for the hospital without adding extra financing. In a town the size of Sedan, keeping their hospital open means hundreds of citizens won’t have to drive hundreds of miles for their medical care, people who work for the hospital can continue to keep their jobs, and family members of those who need hospital care can remain close by while their loved ones are being looked after. Win, win, win.
I want to encourage anyone with a small business to check our website regularly as part of their business practices. It is very simple to search online at kansascash.com to see if there is any unclaimed property there waiting to be found. We work very hard at the Treasurer’s Office to reunite both individuals and businesses with this unclaimed cash because it belongs to them and we want them to be able to use it where it can do the most good.