Sancho Streetside tapping into Shawnee’s lease assistance program while saving up for renovations

Sancho Streetside owners Connor Barrier (left) and Ryan Moody

The city of Shawnee is using funds from a unique economic development program to help pay a portion of the rent for Sancho Streetside, a restaurant and catering business downtown.

Located on the southwest corner of Johnson Drive and Nieman Road, Sancho Streetside had primarily been a food truck and catering business (operating as Bar-M Concepts and Catering) before it expanded with the restaurant last year.

Based on a $42,000 annual lease payment, the agreement with Sancho Streetside would allow the business to receive a total of $31,500 in payments from the economic development fund over the course of a period of three years. City documents indicate that the economic development fund has adequate funds to complete the request.

In its request, Sancho Streetside indicated that the lease assistance will free up funds for renovations such as upgrading kitchen equipment and updating the bar and seating area.

Lease assistance for qualifying businesses downtown is one of five types of incentives provided by the city’s economic development program. This particular incentive is designed to help restaurants and retail businesses seeking to expand or reinvest in the downtown area, specifically by helping them pay rent over a period of three years.

Funds come from the Shawnee Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (SEED) program, which the city adopted in 2012. The purpose of the program is to encourage expansion of businesses, job creation and reinvestment and redevelopment of downtown Shawnee, in the general area of Johnson Drive and the Nieman Road corridor.

To be eligible for lease assistance, Sancho Streetside must be located and leasing space in downtown Shawnee or along the Nieman Road corridor, and also provide lease documentation.

Lease assistance is capped at $40,000 for applicants. If Sancho Streetside moves out of downtown or otherwise fails to meet the city’s requirements for the program, then the business may have to repay all or a portion of the lease assistance funds.

The city council on Monday unanimously approved the program without discussion or public comment.