Nebraska DED: Funding Manufacturing and Innovation

pile of coinsOne of the best testimonials to the advantages of Nebraska’s business climate is from the “Oracle of Omaha,” the most successful investor in the world. “For the last many decades, I could have lived any place in the country I’d wanted to and conducted my business from there, and I’ve never given a thought to being any place but in Nebraska,” Warren Buffett once commented on his home state. From exceptional quality of life to clean air to a lower cost of living, our state is one fortuitous place to begin a business and live with your family.

On the business end of the spectrum, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) also works tremendously hard to ensure that growing businesses have the funding they need. In 2011, the Business Innovation Act was passed to provide funding that would help businesses develop new technologies that lead to quality job opportunities across the state. From grants to lending programs, the DED has since helped manufacturers, data centers, rural microenterprises, and entrepreneurs, among others, complete projects that would not have been able to occur without state assistance.

Here are a two of the recent manufacturing and technology projects that the DED has supported in the last few months. If you’re a manufacturer curious about ways the state can support you, leave a comment in the section below, and we’ll help direct you to the appropriate contact!

Pearson’s Livestock Equipment: Just last week, the North Platte Bulletin reported that $35,000 in building and site funds from the DED helped Pearson’s Livestock Equipment renovate their facility, which was revealed in an open house presentation. The company, which manufactures a full line of bison and cattle handling equipment, used the funds to build a blast facility for powder coating their handling equipment.

Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley commented on the importance of local industry, calling Pearson’s a “local institution” in Thedford for more than fifty years. Today, the manufacturer sells their self-catch head gates, chutes, alleys, and more throughout the United States, the U.K., Finland, Kazakhstan, and Russia, to name a few. “The vitality of our rural communities depends heavily on steady reliable employment, which not only supports families, but is directly linked to the greater economic health of other businesses,” said DED director Courtney Dentlinger. Thus, the funding dollars for Pearson’s will help them to meet increased international demand for their products.

Plattsmouth Hops Production: Bruce and Annette Wiles, founders of the Midwest Hop Producers, Nebraska Hopyards, and Midwest Hopyard Supplies, will create 20 new jobs with their project to transform the former Plattsmouth Country Club into a hop agribusiness. From site improvements to construction of hops harvesting, drying, and pelletizing operations, the investment into the development will use funds both from the Nebraska DED and the Wiles’ private funds.

Most hops in the United States are grown in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Journal Star, and the new commercial-scale production and processing plant for the hops will be Nebraska’s first. Production of the project is currently in phase two, and we (along with craft breweries around the state) look forward to watching the development of this innovative business model!

Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave a comment in the section below, anytime!

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