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Dedicated to assisting people prosper in rural areas through cooperative business development

NCDC awards 2020 Mini-Grants

The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) has announced its 2020 Cooperative Business Development Mini-Grant program grantees. This grant cycle NCDC had $9,000 available for grants.

2020 grantees include Elwood Hometown Cooperative Market, Lone Tree Foods, Village of Emerson, and Market23.

Elwood Hometown Cooperative Market (EHCM), located in Elwood NE, is the only grocery store in the community. Incorporated in 2015, EHCM requested Advanced Assistance funds to hire professional services to create an updated member recruitment plan to increase investment from shareholders.

Lone Tree Foods, located in Raymond NE, is a farmer owned company connecting local farmers with wholesalers in Nebraska and Iowa. Lone Tree requested Advanced Assistance funds to design online, print, and packaging marketing materials; plan outreach meetings with current and prospective producers; design branded apparel for staff; and provide travel expenses to attend outreach meetings.

Village of Emerson, located in Southeast Nebraska, is a food desert after losing its grocery store in 2018. The village requested Initial Development Assistance funds to begin the exploratory stages of development of a cooperative or multi-owner grocery store in Emerson NE.

Market23, located in Columbus NE, offers local entrepreneurs a year round location to sell products or produce. Market23 requested Initial Development Assistance funds to create Marketing Materials for workshops & special events in the store; receive training on online marketing, product design and pricing.

NCDC Mini-grants are available to groups who are pursuing/exploring a multi-owner or cooperative business or to incorporated cooperatives (or other business entities operating as a cooperative) in rural Nebraska. Groups (including communities) that are exploring community-supported ventures are also eligible to apply.

Initial Development Assistance grants are designed for groups who are in the exploratory stages of development of multi-ownership or cooperative.

Advanced Assistance grants are designed to provide incorporated multi-owner businesses or cooperatives the ability to hire professional services for the development of their cooperative or multi-owner business. These services may include attorney fees, accounting fees, and/or the development of marketing materials.

If you wish to be included in future Cooperative Business Development Mini-Grant program announcements – please contact Cindy Houlden at

Cornhusker Economics
March 18, 2020

Since 1999, the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) has provided technical assistance, education and training to groups who are developing or are considering the development of a cooperatively owned business. The primary objective is to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative business development. 

Click here to read the entire Article

NCDC in Midst of COVID-19 

Since March, NCDC has been taking proactive steps to protect the health and safety of employees and customers in respect to the potential spread of COVID-19.

NCDC Can Meet Virtually

NCDC has zoom capabilities and we are happy to coordinate and organize group meetings to explore the possibilities, assess feasibilities and implementation of your group. We are also available to meet one-on-one via zoom or over the phone.

As we receive guidance from UNL, we will update our meeting options.

Nebraska Cooperative Development Center Contacts

Charlotte Narjes:

Cindy Houlden:
308-293-6417 (cell)

Skylar Falter: