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Qwally Streamlines Business Assistance in Kansas City, MO

Digitizing bureaucracy, streamlining support, and keeping businesses moving in the wake of COVID.

Qwally Business Engagement Platform has modernized Kansas City, Missouri’s small business support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, now supporting thousands of businesses in the region. 

The City’s business assistance office, KC BizCare, chose Qwally Platform to manage its transition to digital support and the unique challenges facing government and small businesses during the crisis, Nia Richardson, the office’s director, said.


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Qwally Business Engagement Platform


“We had to pivot virtually, so we could be responsive to the needs of our new and existing entrepreneurs and small businesses in KC,” Richardson said.

Before the pandemic, KC BizCare primarily supported entrepreneurs through in-person appointments at their office across from City Hall. With Qwally Platform, the office has now digitized and streamlined its processes.


“There’s no way we could have handled our renewal period during the pandemic without Qwally.” 


“Imagine having to process all of our requests through a paper form!” said Angelene Grady, one of BizCare’s founding advocates. “We used to sit next to businesses on computers, print out documents, and write requests on a paper form. There’s no way we could have handled our renewal period during the pandemic without Qwally.”

Using Qwally Platform, the office can now manage the unprecedented amount of business license renewals and help requests that flooded in during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis — and that continues today as the City continues to expand the office’s responsibilities.


“Qwally’s resilience and attention to our needs has been huge.”


“When the pandemic hit, BizCare had to change our operations,” said Rick Usher, the City’s Assistant Manager. “Qwally helped us pivot to remote work and quickly developed a survey to learn about our small business community. Qwally’s resilience and attention to our needs has been huge.”

The office benefits from several guides incorporated into Qwally Platform that help businesses start, maintain, and grow their businesses. Each business that completes a short intake is matched to step-by-step guidance tailored just for them. “[Qwally] has stepped in helping to navigate that gap,” La’Nesha Frazier, co-owner of Bliss Books & Wine in Kansas City, and winner of the 2022 Emerging Small Business Award from the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, explained, “which is needed because otherwise we’re just shooting in the dark.”

Audrey Boese, owner of Whiskers Cat Cafe located in Kansas City’s Midtown community, agreed, sharing that “the website, and the enhancements, and the checklist is incredible. It literally gives you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do.” Now several years in, the KC BizCare Office has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners start and grow using Qwally Platform. 


“The website, and the enhancements, and the checklist is incredible. It literally gives you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do.”


Before Qwally, Bizcare staff were hard-pressed to uncover what each business wanted to accomplish, and where they were in a process. Gathering the right context required emails, phone calls, and in-person visits. Now, the office can better understand and analyze business information, goals, applications, and unique steps using the Platform's CRM and dashboard. If someone calls or visits the office, the first step is always to set up their business profile and assist digitally.

The office also utilizes Qwally to survey businesses and better understand their needs. For example, during the pandemic, the Office used Qwally to measure the impact of COVID-19 on women and minority-owned firms, which have struggled to access loans during the health crisis. More recently, the Office launched its City of Entrepreneurs initiative, pushing a new survey to BizCare clients to assess needs and ecosystem gaps. 


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Qwally CRM & Dashboard


Qwally has worked with Kansas City since 2020 when it participated in City Innovate Startup in Residence program. Since then, the partnership has evolved with a five-year contract that started in June of 2020. The Platform continues to evolve to this day.

“We are thrilled with our partnership with KC BizCare. We have grown Qwally Platform and gained unprecedented insight into how our technology helps communities digitize bureaucracy, scale business support, and survey needs,” Qwally CEO Chris Offensend said. “We would not be where we are today with the BizCare team. This partnership highlights the importance of improving ease of use and access for small businesses, particularly at a time when cities are moving to bring more and more services online, and adjusting to remote work.”


Get in touch


Brandon Gumm

Brandon leads sales, marketing, and customer success at Qwally, an industry-leading developer of business engagement software for local governments and support organizations. If you are a local government or support organization working with entrepreneurs and small businesses, please reach out!

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