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StartUp Hutch Makes Loan to Reopen Business at Former Prairie Hills Nursery

Entrepreneurs Travis and Kristen Mullen Expand Their Business

Hutchinson, Kan., Jan. 15, 2021 – When a local business closes, the loss to a community is even greater than meets the eye. There are obvious losses like the services provided, the jobs, and the visual vibrancy of an active business location in the community. And then there are more hidden losses, like the decrease in sales and property taxes. Whether easy to spot or more hidden, the hit to the local economy is felt by all.

When Prairie Hills Nursery closed in the spring of 2020, the Hutchinson community felt all those losses. That’s when entrepreneurs Travis and Kristen Mullen saw a window of opportunity to expand their existing lawn care business, Mullen’s Landscaping and Irrigation.

The Mullens began the process of purchasing Prairie Hills Nursery and reached out for support and guidance through StartUp Hutch. They were able to utilize a SCORE business mentor to help guide them through the acquisition. The Mullens also were able to secure gap financing using StartUp Hutch’s E-Community Funds, and access resources available to entrepreneurs at the state level through Network Kansas. First National Bank of Hutchinson was also a key partner in making the purchase possible.

Travis and Kristen Mullen Sign Loan at StartUp Hutch
Travis and Kristen Mullen Sign Loan at StartUp Hutch

“This is a great example of a local bank,

StartUp Hutch, and Network Kansas all working together to help an entrepreneur expand their business by acquiring a related business. Our whole community benefits, because this will generate sales tax and property tax revenue in addition to maintaining an active business at a highly-trafficked corner in our community,” said Jackson Swearer, Entrepreneur Navigator and Program Director at StartUp Hutch.

The hard work and investment made by the Mullens, along with the help of these partners, yields the collective result of allowing a successful and important business in Reno County to prosper when it otherwise would have remained closed.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to expand our business, and we appreciate the help StartUp Hutch provided to make this possible,” said Travis Mullen.

For more information on StartUp Hutch resources, or to join their community of entrepreneurs and business owners, visit or contact Jackson Swearer at 620-665-3319.

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