Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate 2022

Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate 2022 Main Photo

30 Jan 2023

PCDC focused its efforts in 2022 on housing, business recruitment and supporting existing businesses. And, the outlook is bright for economic development for 2023.

“It’s been a productive 2022, and I’m growing more and more confident in the market’s prospects for 2023,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. “We’re fishing for big game fish, and I think our chances are very good for both a major expansion and a new industrial business during the upcoming season.”

Here’s a look back at PCDC’s Top 10 Economic Development Efforts in 2022:

1.    New Housing:

A county-wide housing study commissioned by PCDC was completed in 2022 and revealed that at least 206 living units will be needed in Holdrege and 286 units in Phelps County over the next five years. The good news is that since that study was shared, PCDC has already secured two contractors to build at least 12 more living units in the CREW Subdivision When complete, the CREW subdivision will feature 46 living units constructed since 2019. In addition, PCDC partnered with local government and organizations to apply for grants to purchase land and develop more property for housing in Bertrand and Holdrege.

2.    More Iron Horse Business & Industry Park Resources:

PCDC continued efforts to develop the Iron Horse Business & Industry Park so it is shovel-ready for new business. In 2022, PCDC secured $135,000 in ARPA funds through the Phelps County Commissioners to complete the final design of the project so that water, sewer and road infrastructure can be built there.

3.    Most Active Project Files in PCDC History:

While no new large business announcements were made in 2022, PCDC staff and board members have been busy behind the scenes attending trade conferences, completing requests for proposals, and working with businesses looking to start or relocate to the area. At the end of 2022, PCDC was working with 16 potential projects, which is the most active potential projects on file in the organization’s history.

4.    Holdrege Wins Community of the Year:

PCDC representatives attended the August Nebraska Diplomats banquet where Holdrege was recognized as a Community of the Year.

5.    Seven GO! DREAM Grants Awarded:

In 2022, PCDC GO! DREAM grants funded façade renovations, new windows and doors or energy efficiency projects in Bertrand, Funk, Loomis and Holdrege. Grantees were JB’s Sports Bar and Grill, Screen Machine, SCAR, Schrock Building, Bridal Isle, The Drive Golf & Lounge, and The 308 Boutique.

6.    17 Digital Development Grants Awarded:

PCDC also supported existing or new local small businesses with Digital Development grants. The grants provide up to $1,000 to businesses operating from a storefront or fixed location in Phelps County to help create a website, upgrade or enhance an existing website, purchase e-commerce software or subscriptions, POS software, advertising/marketing (social media, radio, newspaper, TV, etc.) or business education and support programs including membership in GROW Nebraska or the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce or to attend workshops or webinars. In 2022, grants were awarded to Phelps Harvest, Clear View Realty, Pretty & Fabulous, Holly Olson Agency (State Farm), Kimberly Powers Photography, Black Sheep Products, Holdrege Dental Arts, Studio 607, The 308 Boutique, The Drive Golf & Lounge, Flag Creek Farms, Graphic Arts Shop, Screen Machine, Gray Law Firm, Bowden’s Bargain Store, Ella Rose Designs, and Liminal Space Lyrics.

7.    Four GO! Business Grants Awarded:

In 2022, PCDC also awarded exterior impact grants to help four local businesses including CS Storage, Kimberly Powers Photography, Nebraska Star Beef, and Melroy Construction.

8.    Helped 67 People Move to the County:

PCDC awarded $54,000 in GO! HOME grants to help 68 people move to the county with Down Payment Assistance grants and Renter Relocation grants. The 20 down payment grants ($50,000 total) resulted in 48 new residents and $3,806,000 in home sales. PCDC awards up to $2,500 with employers matching the other $2,500. PCDC awarded $4,000 in renter relocation grants ($500 each) to bring 19 new residents to the county.

9.    High Demand Job Scholarship Recipients and Returners

In May, PCDC awarded $37,000 in scholarships to eight students who plan to study in high-demand career fields and return to Phelps County to work. PCDC also welcomed home six former high-demand jobs scholarship recipients who are now working full-time in Phelps County in careers in farming, diesel mechanics, utility line repair and nursing.

10.    Community Celebrations:

PCDC kicked off the year by celebrating a successful $1 million campaign to raise funds to support the work of PCDC during the next five years by hosting the first event at the newly-remodeled Sun Theater & Event Venue. Later in the year, PCDC celebrated again at the annual Business Hall of Fame Banquet where it inducted Planter Worx into the PCDC Business Hall of Fame. PCDC hosted Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Tony Goins as the keynote speaker.