Update on the LB840 Program: What’s Happened Since 2012

6 Aug 2019

The Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act (LB840) was created as an economic development program in 1993 to help Beatrice to grow and prosper through the creation of new jobs, diverse employment opportunities and new capital investments. When voters renewed the initiative in 2012, the objective was to simultaneously create opportunities and to broaden the tax base, providing economic diversification to ensure economic stability and viability.

The results have been encouraging

Since the LB840 program was first implemented, funding has been made available to many local businesses who have used the funds to grow, hire additional employees or to start a business from the ground up. The terms of the loan program are designed to keep businesses in Beatrice for decades. Recent success stories include:

#1 Rare Earth Salts

As the 2018 Nebraska Diplomats Innovator of the Year award recipient, Rare Earth Salts is an industry leader that requested financial assistance in paying for their commercial space. The company received $76,800 to provide funding for one year’s rent. The funds are forgivable if they remain in Beatrice for ten years.

#2 Landmark Snacks

Landmark Snacks required a $400,000 working capital loan when starting their business. They have used that boost of capital to grow and are now employing 70 people! Their story represents how the LB840 program can be used to grow the economy for the benefit of everyone in the community.

#3 Hybrid Turkeys

Hybrid Turkeys is the newest addition to Industrial Park and an international recruitment success story. Through the LB840 program, they received a $100,000 loan to provide working capital for their hatchery facility. Each year they remain in Beatrice, 10% of the loan is forgiven.

#4 Dawg’s Hut

You don’t have to be a large business to benefit from the LB840 program. Dawg’s Hut, a local screen printing and embroidery business in Beatrice, received $60,000 to help the new owners purchase and operate the business. Now, they are moving into an even larger facility!

#5 Housing

Local housing developments have also benefited from the LB840 program. For example, a $35,000 loan was given to Midwest Housing Initiatives, Inc. to provide working capital in relation to their Porter Estates Project near 10th and Jackson Street. An additional $162,768 was spent to construct a single family home with Prairie Gold Homes. The city’s $127,800 match for LB518 rural workforce housing funds came from LB840 and the city is in the process of loaning those funds out for a single family home in Hannibal View.

#6 Studies and engineering services

Birchwood received $29,455 and is repaying half of it.  They used the money for various studies and engineering services to determine the viability of their project.

#7 Elevator demolition 

$200,737.80 on the demolition of the grain elevator on South 6th Street near Dempsters.

#8 Building demolition 

$204,620.46 was spent on the demolition of 407 Court Street.

#9 Dempsters 

Loaned $225,000 to Dempsters.

#10 Misc.

Spent LB840 dollars on land purchases, branding, strategic plan, and paving/water/sewer improvements.

How the LB840 program works

The overall goal of the Economic Development Program is to decrease the unemployment rate and increase the per capita and median household incomes throughout Beatrice. As such, the program helps to fund businesses and projects that create jobs, investment, and overall economic activity in our city. 

Each project is considered on its own merits with approval priority given to jobs created and/or retained at or above average wage and benefits for the community.  For businesses, the program may provide direct loans or grants to qualifying businesses for fixed assets or working capital or both, loan guarantees for qualifying businesses, grants or agreements for job training.

The amount of funds available for any single project does not exceed more than fifty percent (50%) of the total project costs. Businesses which are receiving these funds are bringing private capital investment into Beatrice and Gage County above and beyond what is contributed through the LB840 program. In addition, the term shall not exceed fifteen (15) years, ensuring that the funds will be available to relend at a future date.

Click here to read through the program guidelines and what is required when applying for funding.

Contact NGage for more information or to apply for LB840 funds

For more information, call 402.228.5869 or email walkerz@ngagegroup.org.