Business Resources

Economic Development

Franklin is a 'business friendly' community with the modern technology for telecommuting professionals, entrepreneurs and home-based businesses. We have several reliable forms of broadband internet access, including DSL, Cable and Fixed Wireless. Choices for cell phone service, access to major shipping services, a low cost of living, access to regional airport service and a "low stress" life-style make Franklin an ideal spot to consider working from. All of these benefits come without the crime, noise, traffic jams and pollution of the big cities.

If you are interested in starting a new business, relocating or expanding an existing one, there are several important contacts you can make:


Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program

The Franklin Community Development Agency (CDA) and the Franklin Chamber of Commerce Partnered together to sponsor the Franklin Business Retention and Expansion Program. All business in Franklin and schedule a site visit to your business with the CDA community consultant and a Nebraska Department of Economic Development business specialist. During site visits, owners and managers express challenges, barriers to growth and/or plans of expansion. The CDA community consultant and NDED staff can connect businesses with the resources unique to their challenges or expansion plans.

Contact: City Clerk, Raquel Felzien at

Franklin Area Development Corporation, Inc. (FADCO)

FADCO was created in 1993 as a for profit corporation to encourage economic development in Franklin. Membership dues and annual fees provide operating funds for the organization and its projects. Since its inception, FADCO has helped open a number of local businesses and assisted others with expansions and capital investments.

Contact: Jerrell Gerdes at 308.425.3011 or 308.470.0576.


South Central Economic Development District (SCEDD)

Nebraska regional development districts offer various revolving loans funds and technical assistance.

Sharon Hueftle is the Director - contact her at 308-455-4770.


Nebraska Department of Economic Development (NEDED)

The Nebraska Department of Economic Developmentis the official lead economic development agency for Nebraska. The mission of NEDED is to provide quality leadership and services that enable Nebraska communities, businesses, and people to succeed in a global economy.

Nebraska Department of Economic Development: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program

Grants are available for qualified businesses that want to: create a prototype, do research and development, commercialize a product, apply for SBIR and Economic Gardening.

Contact: Kelly Gewecke, Central Business Consultant at

UNL Cooperative Extension

Nebraska Extension provides children as young as elementary students’ exposure to entrepreneurship with programs like techbox for elementary students, Adventure Day for middle school students and Start Up Sprint where high school students learn the P’s of marketing. Nebraska Extension provides educational workshops and training for those starting and owning their own business, most notably the Red Carpet Training which provides valuable knowledge and practical application of customer service. Nebraska Extension Recently launched a website,, which provides content material related to entrepreneurship.

Center for Rural Affairs, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)

REAP offers technical assistance, training, loans up to $150,000. For special training opportunities the Women’s Business Center and Hispanic Business Development Center.

For the Central Nebraska Region, contact Howard White, Loan Specialist:
Phone: 308.534.3508

Nebraska Business Development Centers (NBDC)

NBDC offers business planning, training, valuations, loan packaging, government contracting, and a variety of technical assistance.

Contact: Odee Ingersoll, BS, CVA, CEPA, MBPA, EDFP
Phone: 308.865.8344

Franklin Community Development Agency

The Agency is comprised of 5 members to serve the Board and may exercise all of the power and authority granted by State Statutes. The Agency utilizes several development tools to assist developers with commercial, industrial or residential projects. Projects applying for CRA assistance must qualify by meeting certain criteria. Several incentives are available through the Community Redevelopment Authority to assist small businesses and developers within the City of Benkelman.

The Community Development Agency has the power and authority to do all community development activities, and to do all things necessary to cooperate with federal government in all matters relating to community development program activities, under the provisions of the Federal Housing and Community Development Act 1974, as amended through the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1981. The Community Development Agency can levy taxes and issue bonds to aid in community development.

Cornerstone Bank

At Cornerstone, we offer a wide variety of business financing options including loans for real estate, inventory, equipment, lines of credit, letters of credit and loans for "Floor Plan" financing. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has recognized our Bank as a leader in making SBA guaranteed loans. We can assist your business in the complete application process for a 7(a), or 504 SBA loan. Please visit for more information about this product.

Cornerstone Bank is also experienced in the B & I (Business and Industry) guarantee program.  This program is offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)  through the department of Rural Development.

Ag Banking:
Cornerstone Bank has been an agriculturally-oriented bank since 1882. We are one of the leading agricultural lenders in the state of Nebraska and the nation. Our goal is to provide a dependable source of agricultural credit to worthy borrowers through periods of prosperity and adversity. The emphasis at Cornerstone is to provide banking professionals with experience and expertise in the field of agricultural credit, which enables us to develop a good long-term working relationship with our customers.

We want you to know that we are interested in the success of your business yesterday, today and tomorrow. The philosophy at Cornerstone Bank has always been, "What is good for the customer is also good for the Bank."

Phone: 308.425.6225

South Central State Bank

Agricultural Loans:
South Central State Bank understands how important Agriculture is to our communities. We offer Agricultural loans for short-term crop expenses, livestock and machinery purchases or other operational expenses, as well as Ag Real Estate purchases.​

Commercial Loans:
Business expansion, payroll, equipment purchases and other expenses require capital. South Central State Bank offers Commercial Loans to businesses to help meet those day-to-day needs with funding to keep your operation moving forward. Commercial Loans help purchase equipment, inventory or supplies to keep your business running smoothly and profitably.  

Phone: 308.425.6215

USDA Rural Development

The USDA Rural Development program promotes economic development through loans to businesses provided through banks, credit unions, and community-managed lending pools. They also offer energy efficiency grants and loans to businesses.

Regional Contact: Jolene Jones, Business Programs & Community Programs Technician
Phone: (308) 455-9840

Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF)

NEF offers technical assistance and loans up to $150,000.

April Meyer is the Loan Specialist in Kearney.
Phone: 308-440-7917

Nebraska Department of Economic Development - Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

CDBG/ED is a grant to a city, village, or county that re-loans the money to a local qualifying business for gap financing. These funds have to create jobs that benefit low to moderate individuals. Usually run through an NDO when paid back.

Contact: Kelly Gewecke, Central Business Consultant

Nebraska Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO)

NEDCO Is a SBA 504 lender, and has USDA Intermediary Relending Program and EDA Revolving loan funds. They are good with helping with buildings and usually only require 10% equity.

Invest Nebraska

Invest Nebraska Website

Invest Nebraska offers venture capital and angel investment programs.

Rural Advantage Tax Incentives

Incentives - NDED

Rural Advantage provides qualified businesses with refundable tax incentives for projects that create 2 jobs and invest $125,000 in counties of less than 15,000 residents. In counties with 15,000 - 25,000 population, a business can receive incentives for creating 5 jobs and investing $250,000.

Micro-Enterprise Tax Credits

Mirco-Enterprise Tax Credit Website

Micro-Enterprise Tax credits provide a 20 percent refundable tax credit to micro businesses on increased compensation for employees or increased investment in targeted communities. Applicants may qualify for a maximum of $10,000 for the life of the program. The credit is limited to companies with five or fewer employees at the time the application. Credits are approved on a first in - first out basis with an application process through the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

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