Columbus Economic Development Fund

Economic Development Plan

The City of Columbus prides itself on its industrial / manufacturing business success. The city’s Economic Development Plan (PDF) serves as a guiding point for the city’s economic development actions.


The City of Columbus recognizes continued population growth and economic prosperity benefits the quality of life in Columbus and its surrounding communities. Activities shall meet one or more of the following goals prior to recommendation by the Citizen’s Advisory Review Committee for approval:

  • Actively promote Columbus as a place where businesses can locate and be profitable
  • Broaden the tax base
  • Create new job opportunities
  • Diversify our economic base
  • Encourage attraction of new businesses
  • Foster capital investment in the region
  • Grow existing companies
  • Strengthen existing industry clusters
  • Strengthen technology skills of workforce

Qualifying Businesses

Qualifying companies and businesses shall include any corporation, partnership, LLC or sole proprietorship, which derives its principal source of income from the following:

  • The manufacturing of articles of commerce.
  • The conduct of research and development.
  • The processing, storage, transport, or sale of goods or commodities, which are sold or traded in interstate commerce.
  • The sale of services in interstate commerce.
  • Telecommunications activities.
  • Headquarter facilities relating to eligible activities.
  • Any other eligible activities as allowed by the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, or as amended.
  • The development of workforce housing, as outlined by Legislative Bill 1059 (of the 2016 Legislature), and as defined and described by state statutes in the Local Option Economic Development Act.

Qualifying businesses for the Columbus Progress and Jobs Growth Fund need not be located within Columbus or zoning jurisdiction. Qualifying businesses need to be reasonably located to offer employment opportunities and economic benefit for residents of Columbus. Workforce housing projects must be developed inside the Columbus city limits or within close enough proximity to the Columbus city limits to be considered for annexation into the city within a reasonable time period following completion of the development.

Eligible Activities

The Columbus Progress and Jobs Growth Fund may be used for the following program activities:

  • A. Expenditures for municipal infrastructure to include water lines, sewer lines, and sewer pump stations that directly serve industrial sites.
  • B. Expenditures for streets, storm water drainage systems, railway switching and spurs, telecommunications and fiber optic infrastructure to meet new and existing business needs.
  • C. The purchase and ownership of real estate, options for real estate, and renewal or extension of options to include land acquisition and construction of new buildings.
  • D. Agreements to assist with the cost of job training for new and existing companies.
  • E. Technical support for existing and new businesses, such as marketing assistance, management counseling and financial packaging.
  • F. Loans to companies for the purchase of fixed assets.
  • G. Revolving loan fund program for new and growing companies.
  • H. Payment for legal, loan packaging, site studies and engineering expenses directly related to eligible program activities.
  • I. To prudently obtain debt as authorized by state statute.
  • J. Company relocation expenses for equipment and personal property.
  • K. Wages or other compensation for city staff or contract for the administration of the Revolving Loan Program.
  • L. Workforce housing assistance to include, but not be limited to, expenditures as outlined above in A, B, C, F, and G, as authorized by Legislative Bill 1059 (of the 2016 Legislature), and as defined and described by state statutes in the Local Option Economic Development Act.

Columbus Destination Business Guidelines

  • To learn more about eligibility criteria for potential applicants looking to grow their businesses in Columbus, click here.

Creating an Application

To create an application under the LB 840 Plan, please download and fill out the application (PDF). Completed applications can be emailed to the following individuals:

Email Todd Duren
Loup Power District
V.P. of Corporate Services
Office Phone: (402) 564-3171 ex229
Cell Phone: (402) 564-3386

Email Tara Vasicek
City of Columbus
City Administrator
Office Phone: (402) 562-4233
Cell Phone: (402) 363-1610