Empowering Growth: A Focus on LB840 and Fremont's Future

Empowering Growth: A Focus on LB840 and Fremont's Future Main Photo

11 Apr 2024

In January, the Fremont City Council unanimously approved submitting the question of adopting the city’s 2024-2039 Local Option Economic Development Plan to registered voters at the May 14 primary election. This May, Fremont voters will be able to shape their city's growth trajectory, housing, and opportunities. By casting a double "YES" vote on their ballots, they endorse Fremont's 2024-2039 Local Option Economic Development Plan, a pivotal framework supporting local businesses and vital community enhancements such as childcare and housing.

What is LB840, and what are its benefits for Fremont?

LB840, the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, is a critical business development tool authorized by the state legislature that supports initiatives like job creation, infrastructure improvements, and business expansion. Funds are offered to eligible businesses in the form of low or 0% interest loans and performance-based forgivable loans (grants), based upon the creation of new jobs and investment in Fremont.

Past Utilization of LB840 Funds

Over the years, LB840 funds have been instrumental in financing economic development plans, supporting essential city departments like Police and Fire, funding infrastructure projects, and addressing specific community needs such as housing through initiatives like the Here We Grow Homes (HWGH) Fund.

Breakdown of Proposed Spending

The proposed 2024-2039 Local Option Economic Development Plan divides collected revenue equally between economic development plan financing, Police and Fire departments, and street construction/renovation, including drainage and flood control projects.

Direct Impact on Local Businesses

LB840 has directly facilitated local business expansion through initiatives like low or zero-interest loans and performance-based forgivable loans. Businesses across various sectors have benefited from these funds, contributing to Fremont's economic vitality.

Vision for the Future

Extending the current Economic Development Plan through 2029 demonstrates Fremont's long-term commitment to growth. Voting affirmatively on LB840 will secure the city's prosperous future by expanding the sales tax, enabling continued investment in critical projects.

Transparency and Accountability

LB840 ensures transparent fund allocation, with regular updates and community involvement to maintain accountability. Residents can influence spending decisions through the democratic voting process.

Support for Housing Initiatives

LB840 has been pivotal in addressing housing needs, mainly through programs like the HWGH Fund. This initiative provides vital gap financing for developers, fostering a diverse and thriving community.

Testimonials from Local Businesses

Thanks to LB840 funding, businesses like Legacy Post & Beam, Fremont Beef Company, Pearl Academy and 505 Brewing Company have experienced substantial growth and impact. These testimonials highlight how LB840 has empowered businesses to expand, create jobs, and contribute to Fremont's economic vibrancy.

“The LB840 funds were crucial in establishing our growing business. Moving to Fremont with nine employees, we've since expanded to 26 employees over a decade, thanks partly to LB840. It was pivotal in our decision to relocate and call Nebraska our home. LB840 was a significant piece of our decision-making puzzle as we researched locations, ultimately choosing Fremont. Looking ahead, LB840 will continue to foster growth in Fremont. Just as it enabled our company's expansion, it can attract and support businesses, creating jobs and contributing millions to the local economy annually. Our experience demonstrates the substantial impact small companies can have on a community, making investments like LB840 essential for Fremont's future prosperity." - Amanda and Brian Wiese, Owners, Legacy Post & Beam

"FBC utilized LB840 funds to expand our facility, creating more processing capacity and additional full-time jobs. This expansion supports our increased output and boosts the local agricultural economy by utilizing more meat products. Incentives like LB840 are essential for projects of this scale, securing Fremont's position as a competitive business destination." - Matt Taylor, President, Fremont Beef Company

“After recognizing the need for childcare in Fremont, my husband and I opened a center. With LB840 loan assistance, we launched within four months, using funds to cover payroll, utilities, rent, and childcare essentials. The loan enabled us to expand rapidly, from 12 to 60 children within a year, offering subsidized care and free weekend childcare during emergencies like the 100-year flood and the pandemic. The initial LB840 investment laid the foundation for our success, allowing us to purchase a building and continue investing in Fremont six years later. We are grateful for this support and encourage our leaders to maintain their commitment to business and community investment." - Myra Katherine Hale and Michael Pruss, Owners Pearl Academy

“The money we received from LB840 helped our business out tremendously and I'm not sure we would have moved forward without it, to be honest with you.” - Tim Gesell, 505 Brewing Company.

Fremont's journey of growth and prosperity is intricately linked with the strategic utilization of LB840 funds. As the city heads to the polls in May, the decision to support LB840 is not just about economics; it's about investing in Fremont's future and ensuring a vibrant community for future generations. Fremont can chart a path toward sustained growth and opportunity through informed voting and continued collaboration.

Questions? Email questions@yesforfremont.com or visit https://www.yesforfremont.com/ for more details.