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Local Economic Development Incentives

Fairbury Downtown Design Challenge Grant

For Storefront and Facade Improvements in the Fairbury Downtown Historic District

2010 – The City of Fairbury LB840 fund offers matching grants for storefront and façade improvements in the downtown business district up to a maximum amount of $3,000.00 per storefront. Design challenge grants are intended to stimulate private investment in the revitalization of downtown architecture and to foster image-making improvements to downtown commercial properties.

Funding for the Fairbury Downtown Design Challenge Grant Program is provided from the Local Option Sales Tax Program (LB840). Grants are made in accordance with the Fairbury Downtown Design Challenge Grant policies and are in conformance with all applicable state and local requirements. The City of Fairbury administers the Program under the contract.

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LB840 Program

The State of Nebraska allows local communities flexibility in establishing economic development at the local level through what is known as the LB840 program. The City of Fairbury has implemented an LB840 fund to use as an incentive for business retention, expansion, moves to the community and startups. The program is currently established as a grant program to enhance other funding avenues used by a business in the project. The program is highly flexible, and leaves the funding approval process up to the local level.

Past projects have included the purchase of land for Industrial and Retail development, infrastructure improvements, business acquisitions, industrial facility construction, seed capital for expansion of product lines, and partnerships with local housing development. The City of Fairbury has committed to working with SouthEast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) for the management of the program’s activities.

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Past LB840 Grant Recipients

Pure Sérénité Spa, LLC Receives Funding For Day Spa

An historic building in downtown Fairbury is home to a new business, with the help of local economic development incentives. Pure Sérénité Spa and Salon, owned by Chris Stewart of Fairbury, opened its doors in December of 2010. Pure Sérénité Spa is a world-class, full-service day spa and salon that offers high-quality spa services, some available for the first time in the Fairbury area.

TLC Creations Expands With Assistance From LB840 Fund

The Fairbury City Council voted unanimously to grant $20,000 from the LB840 fund to TLC Creations, owned by Tammy Cleary of Fairbury. TLC Creations is an event planning and party supply outlet for Fairbury and the surrounding area. TLC Creations began as a home-based business. Operations commenced in the basement, then moved into the garage behind home, where a small shop was set up for client consultations.

LVS Utilizes LB840 Funds for Expansion

Lambert Vet Supply (LVS) is pleased to announce the grand opening of Main Street Animal Clinic and retail center, a new urban style center for animal health care. Located at 504 E St, in historic downtown Fairbury, the clinic is a first for the company; combining primary, limited-practice veterinary care for companion animals with a retail outlet for their extensive catalog line of animal care products and medications.

City Grants LB840 Funds to Attitudes Apparel

The Fairbury City Council has voted unanimously to fund the installation of a new HVAC system in the historic building located on the north side of the downtown Square. The building, owned by Cheryl Schroeder, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in Fairbury’s Downtown Historic District and houses Attitudes Apparel, a retail clothing store.

CDBG Reuse Fund

The City of Fairbury maintains a revolving loan fund, entitled a Reuse Fund, to help support local economic development activities. Eligible businesses include industrial, manufacturing, food processing, agricultural processing, bagging and cleaning facilities, commercial services, telecommunication, transportation, retail and tourism. Eligible activities include the acquisition of real estate, land, and buildings, fixed assets, machinery and equipment, renovations, remodeling, site preparation, storage and distribution systems, treatment systems, and job training costs. Working capital may also be an eligible activity for certain retail and tourism activities. There are specific job creation/retention requirements associated with the provision of funding through the Reuse Plan. The funds are available on a low interest loan basis. Terms of the loan are subject to the approval of a local Reuse fund committee.

Reuse funds are designated for use within the City limits of the City of Fairbury. Jefferson County has a separate Reuse fund for potential projects within the surrounding County. Rules for use of the Jefferson County Reuse fund will be different, though fairly comparable, with the rules of the City of Fairbury’s Reuse fund.

Tax Increment Financing

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is primarily designed to finance the public costs associated with a private development project. Property tax increases resulting from a new development are targeted to repay the public investment required by a project. There are 4 Redevelopment Areas within the Fairbury community where TIF can be utilized as an incentive. TIF provides a means of encouraging private investment in deteriorating areas by allowing city governments to capture all property tax revenue increases to repay the public investment needed to attract development. Under Nebraska law, TIF can only be used in redeveloping substandard and blighted areas within a community. TIF projects may be commercial, residential, industrial, or mixed use. Generally, TIF funds can be used for land acquisition, public improvements and amenities, infrastructure, and utilities. Every TIF project evaluation must include a cost-benefit analysis.

Click here for map of Redevelopment Areas in the City of Fairbury


Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)

Fostering small business growth in rural areas

Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), Fairbury Nebraska

Small business owners must compete and succeed in a rapidly changing environment.

The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), a program of the Center for Rural Affairs, is a small business development program that can help! REAP consists of four elements including: networking, business management training, credit (micro-loans) and technical assistance.

Technical Assistance

  1. REAP staff are available for one-on-one technical assistance with business owners or managers. Businesses may be existing or start-up businesses of all types.
  2. Business planning assistance and trouble shooting consultations.
  3. Cash flow and budget assistance.
  4. Loan packaging assistance.

Micro Loan Fund Access

  1. Direct Lending – Participants are eligible for loans up to $35,000.
  2. REAP Online Lending System – Applications for REAP Rapid Loans up to $5,000 and loans up to $10,000 can be completed online or the online application can be used for the pre-application for business loans from $10,001 – $35,000    Visit:
  3. Quick & Direct GROW Loans – GROW Nebraska members are eligible for loans up to $5,000.
  4. Peer Group Loans of $100 – $10,000 are available to members involved in associations that maintain a local loan loss reserve.
  5. All members may receive loan packaging assistance as needed.

Networking – Association or Roundtable Group

  1. A partnership is established between REAP and the local community to form either a REAP Association or Roundtable. Group members meet monthly for networking, discussion topics and education. An active base of members and key contact person is critical to the success of maintaining an association or networking group in a community.
  2. Access to benefits and services, including REAP Business Update, online member directory, and many other resources.

Business Training

  1. Associations and Roundtables have on-going training at their monthly meetings.
  2. Associations or roundtable groups may host a REAP Business Plan Basics Training or other special small business trainings based on local interest.
  3. Regional workshops and Women’s Business Center training activities are available periodically.

REAP is funded by Community Development Block Grant assistance through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development as well as funding from the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act, United States Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration Microloan and Women’s Business Center programs among others.

Contact REAP:

Janelle Moran
Southeast Region Loan Specialist
Call: (402) 335-3675
or contact our main office at (402) 687-2100