As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, communities across Nebraska are responding on the local level through creation of community-driven programs for families, businesses and nonprofits who are impacted. Some of these programs respond directly to the needs of early childhood professionals, while others support the economic viability of local businesses. As a local provider, we encourage you to reach out to your local chambers of commerce or economic development corporations to see how you can be included in local business programs.
The Auburn Development Council has teamed up with local businesses on a “Double Down” promotion. For every $25 gift card purchased, the Auburn Development Council will donate an additional $25. Learn more at growauburnne.com.
Broken Bow and Custer County
Local businesses and individuals are encouraged to sponsor $50 gift cards from local businesses in Custer County. The program was originally organized by the Universal Insurance Agency. Gift cards purchased will be used for social media giveaways, and winners can choose gift cards from the sponsor business or individual. Learn more by following the Custer Economic Development Corporation on Facebook or visiting custercountyne.com.
The Custer Economic Development Corporation has launched the 4-County Cash Back program, designed to support small businesses in Custer County that have been impacted by COVID-19. Individuals can purchase gift certificates for Custer County businesses and add 50% value to what they purchased. Learn more at 4-county-strong.myshopify.com.
The Chadron City Council approved Resolution No. 2020-26 to authorize the use of LB840 Economic Development funds for microgrants for local businesses. Through a committee discussion, it was recommended to use $30,000 of the LB840 Economic Development Funds for individual $1,000 microgrants. Learn more at chadron-nebraska.com.
The new Gift Card Multiplier program will match the value of any gift card or certificate dollar for dollar purchased from a Fairbury retail or service establishment. For example, a $50 gift card purchase would not only give that business $50 in revenue but the city would match that amount with an additional $50 using LB840 funds. Learn more at fairburyne.org.
Grand Island and Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties
The Heartland United Way and the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation are partnering to create the COVID-19 Community Compassion Fund to help area organizations and individuals. More information on the fund can be found at www.heartlandunitedway.org. The Heartland United Way serves Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties.
Source: Grand Island Independent
The City of Grand Island has created the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund to provide financial assistance to existing businesses within the city that are facing economic hardship due to the coronavirus. The priority of the fund is to retain low-to-moderate paid jobs within the city of Grand Island. Read more about the Revolving Loan Fund.
Hastings and Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties
United Way of South Central Nebraska and the Hastings Community Foundation have announced creation of a fund to aid organizations serving those impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The grant application is available at unitedwayscne.org/covid-19-resources. Grants are available for nonprofits and 501(c)3 organizations and requests will be assessed based on their ability to serve impacted populations or limiting the spread and impact of the virus. Grants are most likely to be awarded in amounts under $500, but could increase based on available funds and critical needs.
Holdrege and Phelps County
Phelps County Development Corp. and a group of partners created the Magic Multiplier Gift Card Incentive & Digital Development Grants programs to immediately help businesses. Learn more about the program.
Digital Marketing Grant: Holt County Economic Development and local communities created a grant program to assist businesses affected by COVID-19. Businesses in select Holt County communities can apply for up to $1,000 for digital development/improvements, including website creation/upgrades, eCommerce software, POS software, advertising/branding and/or photography/graphic design. Applications are reviewed by the local LB840 Committee and village board. Learn more at www.GrowHolt.com or contact Darby Paxton at darby@GrowHolt.com or (402) 336-1504 with any questions.
The Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Kearney Area Community Foundation, has set up a Kearney Area Employee Emergency Relief Fund to help those who are suffering loss and hardship from the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more at www.kearneycoc.org/covid19.
Stronger Together In Kearney (STIK) is an e-Gift Card Incentive Program allowing customers to support their favorite Kearney businesses which will provide these businesses with the revenue they need. The Economic Development Council of Buffalo County (EDCBC) is providing up to $200 to businesses when e-gifts are purchased, up to $10,000. Learn more at kearneycoc.org/staykearneyshop.
Lexington Community Foundation is working to form a collaborative, community response to disburse resources to local nonprofit organizations in response to needs that have arisen as a result of the coronavirus. Support grants are available in $500 increments to fund existing organizations that have developed or are expanding current programs to meet the needs of the community. Learn more at lexfoundation.org.
McCook Community Foundation Fund has established funding to help the community as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Response Account is now open to take donations and to provide grants. Learn more at mccookfoundation.org.
Shop McCook is a new website that allows people to purchase gift cards to local businesses. Both chamber members and nonmembers can opt-in to participate. Once a gift card is purchased, the McCook Chamber staff purchases the gift cards in person from the participating businesses and mails to purchasers. The Chamber has partnered with their city to cover credit card fees. Visit shopmccook.org to learn more.
North Platte – Business Support
North Platte approved a new Quality Growth Fund program aimed at helping small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. An allocation of up to $250,000 in funds was approved to help offset costs for small businesses to apply for federal loans for COVID-19 losses. Businesses that hire outside help to navigate the U.S. Small Business Administration loan process can be reimbursed for up to $2,500 and have until Dec. 31 to turn in qualified expenses to the North Platte Area Chamber & Development Corp.
North Platte including Custer, Dawson, Frontier, Hayes, Hooker, Keith, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Perkins and Thomas counties
The Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation has set up a COVID-19 Response Fund to aid local nonprofit organizations who are helping provide basic needs for individuals impacted by pandemic in the North Platte area. Learn more at midnebraskafoundation.org.
Papillion and Sarpy County
Facebook has launched a Small Business Grants Program for for-profit small businesses that are in or near a location where Facebook operates. They are offering a $4,000 grant for eligible recipients, which includes $2,500 cash and $1,500 in optional ad credits. Learn more and apply at facebook.com/boost/grants.
Sandhills State Bank has announced the Sandhills Support Plan to help Sandhills State Bank customers facing loss of income, business interruption and economic uncertainty as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
United Way of Western Nebraska has established a COVID-19 Community Compassion Fund to provide financial assistance to non-profit agencies in addressing the increasing demand for services. 100% of all funds received will go directly to non-profits serving the community. Learn more at unitedwayofwesternnebraska.com/covid.
Seward and Seward County
The Seward County Chamber & Development Partnership has launched a small town stimulus program. When individuals spend $50 or more at participating businesses, hey receive $15 in Chamber Bucks to spend at any SCCDP member business. Follow Cultivate Seward County on Facebook to learn more.
The City of Sidney and Cheyenne County Economic Development Partnership are offering forgivable, no-interest loans of up to $5,000 for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The loans are forgivable after 12 months if businesses are in good standing. Learn more and apply for local Economic Development LB840 funds at cityofsidney.org/DocumentCenter/View/1552/Small-Business-COVID-19-LB840-Application.
The local newspaper, York News-Times, has launched a new Buy Local website sponsored by the York Area Chamber of Commerce, York County Development Corporation and Cornerstone Bank. The site is a one-stop shop to buy gift cards from York County businesses. Learn more at localbusiness.lee.net/york-news-times.