GFDC Launches Grant Opportunity to Existing Welstead Fund

1 Jul 2020


For Immediate Release

The Greater Fremont Development Council (GFDC) is launching an addition to the Welstead Fund - a micro-loan program that was launched in Fall 2019. The Dodge County Small Business Relief Program will provide a grant opportunity that will allow businesses who are not eligible for federal and state programs to apply for COVID-19 related expenses. "Through conversations with many small businesses in Dodge County, we realized that a program such as this was needed. A survey was conducted in March, in partnership with the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, and 96% of those responses agreed that a Dodge County Small Business Relief fund was needed", stated Director of Business Services, Stephanie Schurkamp. 
The dual program can be used to complete a variety of building improvements, including signage, painting, HVAC, electric repairs, energy efficiency improvements, or to purchase new windows, doors, lighting and COVID related expenses. Regardless of the type of improvements being done, they must make a high, positive impact on the facade and interior of the building or allow for the retention of employees. What makes the Welstead Fund stand out from other small business programs is that it caters to businesses who have 20 employees or less. 
The Welstead Fund was initially funded with $60,000 that was approved by the GFDC Board of Directors in addition to $1,000 that was contributed by Mr. Welstead himself. Since rolling out the Welstead Fund, in the Fall of 2019, GFDC has received an additional $1,000 from the Welstead Estate, an additional $10,000 that was approved in May by the GFDC Board of Directors, and $2,000 that was raised during the Fremont Area Big Give. A total of $74,000 is in the Welstead Fund with $7,000 of those dollars to be used for grants.
GFDC is looking to provide 7 grants of $1,000 each for any Dodge County Small Business that is approved for a $5,000 loan through our Welstead Fund. Schurkamp states, "we are grateful to those who have contributed to this fund and look forward to assisting businesses within Dodge County". Those who are interested in contributing to the fund can reach out to 

About the Welstead Fund

The Welstead Fund is a micro-loan fund that provides small loans to startup, newsly established, or growing small businesses in Fremont, Nebraska. The Fund is named after the late Marvin Welstead, a Fremont advocate and co-founder of the Greater Fremont Development Council. His vision was to see the Fremont area grow and for small businesses to thrive. The Fund is a tool for supporting local businesses and making his vision a reality.

Applying for Funding from the Welstead Fund in Fremont, Nebraska

Applications are currently being accepted. Property owners who are interested in applying must complete an application and provide two bids for the cost to complete improvements. Pictures must also be provided. After an initial review, the GFDC Board will make the final funding decision. Those who are approved for funding will have 120 days to complete construction, after which, pictures and proof of payment must be provided to GFDC. 

About the Greater Fremont Development Council

GFDC is the economic development resource for growth opportunities to bring businesses and jobs to Dodge County, NE, and ensure a diverse workforce. 

GFDC is a 501(c)6 public-private partnership that works diligently to fulfill its mission to provide leadership for Greater Fremont Area growth initiatives and aggressively pursue targeted growth opportunities that will result in quality job creation and retention. 

Fremont, Nebraska, is poised for a bright economic future. Strategically located at the crossroads of major highway links to reach the downtown Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas in less than an hour, the community offers immediate access to big city amenities while retaining an independent rural community flavor. Small businesses are thriving in Fremont, and the creation of the Fund is one more way GFDC is supporting their growth.

Application Contact

Stephanie Schurkamp
Director of Business Services

Click here for more information on how to apply.