PITTSBURG, Kans. (KSNF) — When the pandemic first started, many business owners worried about the future. Today those worries are seemingly gone thanks to what Kansas Governor Laura Kelly calls the best year of business in the state.

“The month that we were shut down was incredibly tight … Things were definitely slower,” said Audacious Boutique Owner, Sydney Anselmi.

“A lot of people I know, jobs were up in the air, finances were up in the air, there wasn’t really a sense of security.”

Now a sense of security has been restored. Over the past year, $3.5 million has been invested into Kansas businesses, and more than 40,000 jobs were created. You can see this clearly in the city of Pittsburg.

“Especially sectors like our health care sector, the Community Health Center continues to add a significant number of jobs, our other health care providers as well. Manufacturing is doing very strong, advanced manufacturing, in particular, continues to add jobs,” said Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Benson.

“For many areas like Pittsburg, this is actually continuing a trend they saw happen before the pandemic, but not just with jobs.”

“But with sales as well,” said Benson.

“We had a couple record-breaking days this year alone. Small Business Saturday was such a record-breaking day for so many businesses in the area. Several other business owner friends I have said that they had an amazing day whether it’s a restaurant or a bar,” said Anselmi.

“We’re not Amazon. We’re not the big-box chains. We can’t compete with all of that, so your support is what literally keeps us here.”

Officials hope this success continues to build on what the city has seen since 2013 — inspiring new companies to find a home in their community.

“You can operate a business here in Pittsburg very successfully, it’s a community that’s very conducive to business growth over several decades, we feel it helps us make ourselves even more attractive for new business development,” said Benson.