Ben Updates

Thanks to the Technology-Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions (TEFFI) Act, which Beneficient (“Ben” for short) championed in Kansas last year, a new grocery store is coming to Hesston, KS. Plans were unveiled by Ben and the Beneficient Heartland Foundation at a recent Hesston City Council meeting for an 18,000-square-foot grocery store, which will be paid for by funds generated from TEFFI operations.

“The great thing about a store that size is it has the potential to drive 2,500 unique customers through the doors each week,” Beneficient employee Denise Goevert told the city council, as quoted by the Harvey County Now newspaper. “This will benefit all of our Main Street businesses in having the foot traffic generated through the store.”

Hesston native and Ben founder and CEO Brad Heppner was inspired to pursue a program like the TEFFI Act after having a conversation with his mother, who still lives in Hesston. She expressed frustration at having to travel out of town after the last grocery store in Hesston closed.  Heppner and Ben then engaged the Kansas State Legislature around an initiative that would bring money into Kansas to finance critically needed community reinvestment without burdening average taxpayers. Thus, the TEFFI Act was born for the benefit of rural communities throughout Kansas like Hesston.

TEFFI enables the creation of regulated trust companies that provide alternative asset financing and custodial asset management services. A central component of the TEFFI law is a built-in mechanism for community reinvestments out of a 2.5% financing fee paid by TEFFI customers.

The Beneficient Heartland Foundation is set up to receive the funding TEFFI operations generate. Already this year, over $15 million of assets and cash have been generated from Ben’s TEFFI operations for the benefit of rural Kansas.

As quoted by the Harvey County Now, Heppner told the city council he expects the store to generate 2,500 unique visitors a week and employ approximately 50 part-time and full-time people. The hope is that those shoppers will visit other businesses in downtown Hesston.

“This is the place where everyone in town is going to go to at least once a month if not four times a month,” Heppner told the city council.