June 2019 Director Update

AREA News, News - 06.26.19

Every five years, MEDC recertifies with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development as an Economic Certified Community. This designation helps identify McCook as a community that is open to business and doing the right things to attract and develop our local economy. A part of this requires us to look back at what has happened the last five years. Even though I’ve only been in this role a year, MEDC has accomplished a lot in the last five years. Here’s a sample:

  • At the Business Park, we’ve welcome Booe Machinery and Salvage, Next Generation, and Lopez Service and Repair with over $10 million in capital investment and around 15 jobs created.
  • The Keystone Business Center has seen 20/20 Technologies, Chipperfield Ag Erectors, Southwest Environmental Engineering, and New Frontier Agriculture grow from office spaces to having their own locations.
  • MEDC’s involvement in the Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition has provided for business plan education for 42 entrepreneurs, $90,000 in business grants awarded, and 80% of contestants reporting that they are still in business and have seen revenue growth since the competition.
  • Investment in a hotel study resulted in the addition of the Cobblestone and Holiday Inn Express.
  • LB 840 gap financing loans helped provide for business expansion for American Ag Labs, startup assistance for Heat 2 Toe Spa, and transition loans for McCook Laundromat and Aphrodite Hair.
  • LB 840 façade grants of $113,000 combined with private investment of $387,000 to add $500,000 in façade improvements to McCook businesses.
  • Using tax credits, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), and LB 840 loans, the addition of Quillan Courts and Clary Village provided for 32 new housing units in the community.
  • TIF assisted with the development of six new workforce housing units in the North Pointe development.

These accomplishments were created as individuals and private companies chose to invest and grow in the McCook. It was the individual effort of business owners to make this happen and MEDC continue to look at where we can provide assistance by creating the site or the financial package to help in the development. Our board is looking forward to continuing to bring development to grow the area. There were also a few other updates from the last month.

Workforce/Internships – We continue to have conversations with the school, college and local businesses to develop internship programs and exposure to the opportunities available locally. If you are a local business owner and would be interested in a high school or college intern during the school year or summer, let me know so we can help develop a program to meet your need.

Retail – Our consultant from Retail Strategies was in McCook this last month, scouting locations for national retailers. We are working with Retail Strategies to identify national retailers that would be interested in McCook and then to start the conversation about opening in McCook. Based on traffic counts, national retailers value land along highway 6/34 west of Norris and North Highway 83 up to J St. One challenge with this location is there isn’t a lot of space to be developed in this area.

If you have questions or thoughts reach out to me at 308-345-1200 or andy@mccookne.org. Our list of accomplishments from the last five years has been good, but we are planning and doing the work to develop an even better list to write about five years from now.  Combining the hard work and resourcefulness of individuals with the assistance we can provide, this growth can happen.