Business Assistance

Economic Development Loan Fund

The PADD Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was created to meet the following goals in the Panhandle of Nebraska. 

  • Further economic development.
  • Promote and assist growth and development of business and industrial concerns.
  • Stimulate business opportunity on development.
  • Provide funding for business startups, business expansion, and business transitions that create or retain jobs in the panhandle.

The RLF provides for subordinated gap financing, in conjunction with local finical institutions, as well as direct financing in some cases: to meet the goals of the fund. These loans are perfect for financing fixed assets such as land, buildings, equipment, as well as working capital or inventory. 

The RLF is available to economic development projects within the 11-county region that makes up the Nebraska Panhandle.

Social Enterprise

Generous private investments have made funds available to award out for Social Enterprise and community projects in the Panhandle. The Panhandle Partnership and Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) together with community-based committees will administer these funds and related supports. PADD also received an award from the Peter Kiewit Foundation to support the first year staff, training, and travel to launch this initiative. These investments will accelerate the sound development of the financial, educational, and management supports to grow Social Enterprise in the Panhandle.

What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to address a social, environmental and human justice need.

At the heart of this work was the desire to carve a path for the linkage of economic and community development based on common values and vision, as well as

  • Maximize the viability of social enterprise projects
  • Promote opportunity to reduce grant dependency for non–profits
  • A place for local investors interested in sustainable community development to donate funds
  • Encourage more inclusive communities
  • Include social enterprise within the Panhandle Economic Development continuum
  • Encourage businesses to redefine success to be for more-than-profit, to include a positive social and human impact
  • Engaged community partners provide a value-add for private foundations investing in the Panhandle through a shared granting or funding process

Funding Support

Funding support for this effort is broken into two streams: the Innovations and Investment Fund to support Social Enterprise businesses; and the Greater Good Fund to support community projects that are sustainable and beneficial to the whole community.


Innovations & Investment Fund

The purpose of the Innovations and Investment fund is to support social enterprise businesses or projects. Support could be designated both for standalone social enterprise businesses or existing non-profit ‘spin-off’ initiatives where a program will run like a business to meet a particular mission. Applicants will be expected to plan and research prior to starting up just like any other business and can draw on the support of area partners for education and mentoring on business and social impact best practices. For this first year, cash infusions will be made generally not to exceed $50,000 and 100% match is required. Applications will be received on a rolling basis.

Greater Good Fund

The purpose of Greater Good community grants is to support community efforts to responsibly use, develop and sustain the common wealth of the region. The common wealth is defined as:

  • Gifts of the natural world and human society that have monetary and non-monetary value in supporting life and well-being for both human and natural communities
  • Wealth we inherit or create together, which we desire to pass on, as undiminished and regenerative as possible, to our children and future generations
  • A sector of the economy that compliments but is also distinct from the market and government sectors
  • Communal assets that increase or decrease depending on management

Applications for Greater Good grants are received by May 30th and November 30th each year. Funds will be awarded as a one-time cash infusion to generally not exceed $50,000. Awards are made by July 1 and January 1 of each year.

Business Resources Guide

For financing, business planning help, and more, find resources for business assistance through the Panhandle Partnership’s resource guide.