What Can LB840 Do for YOU?

23 Jul 2015

The local option sales tax has provided many new opportunities for Holdrege entrepreneurs since it began in 2003.


From business transitions to façade improvements, the tax has provided incentives to kept business growing in the county.


Monica Ehlers, owner of the E-Klips Salon at 303 West Ave. in downtown Holdrege, earned one of 12 grants awarded in 2014 to business owners to freshen up their store fronts.


With PCDC’s façade improvement grant, Ehlers purchased a new sign and awning for her salon and spruced up the front of her building.


Ehlers said prior to the changes, some residents didn’t know her business was a salon.


“People love what I have done to it,” Ehlers said of the improvements.


Ehlers has worked in cosmetology for 29 years and has owned E-Klips for almost three years. She serves clients from Holdrege, Oxford, Franklin, Elm Creek, Arapahoe, Wilcox, Hildreth and other surrounding towns.


PCDC provided $160,000 to the façade improvement grants in 2014 as part of an overall downtown revitalization plan. It partnered with the City of Holdrege and the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce on the project.


Another incentive provided through the LB840 tax is the revolving loan fund, which provides loans to businesses to fill a gap between what a bank will loan and what a business needs for its project.


Jim and Dawn Sladky, owners of JD Lumber, borrowed from the revolving loan fund in 2008 to help purchase the business from Rodger Lien. Jim had worked for Lien Lumber for 15 years prior and was interested in keeping the lumber yard in business after his boss retired.


The Sladkys are now coming up on their 7th anniversary of business ownership in Holdrege.


Their lumber company provides high-grade building supplies, and they recently added outdoor sporting goods, such as guns and ammunition, to their inventory.


Since they purchased the business, they also have added one new full-time employee and a part-time employee.


The Sladkys gave back to PCDC with a donation to the Prosperity Project campaign and believe that PCDC is going in the right direction.


The revolving loan fund, which is still available to businesses, can lend up to 50 percent of a project’s total cost but not more than 10 percent of the loan fund, or currently $80,000.


The façade improvement grants are no longer available. However, voters will be asked in a November 10 special election to renew the sales tax to fund economic development tools like the revolving loan fund and the façade improvement grants.


For more information about the tax or the revolving loan fund, please contact Alli Donohue at PCDC at (308) 995-4148.